The firm that has been offering free credit monitoring for nearly 1.5 million people whose sensitive information was compromised in the hacking of a South Carolina Department of Revenue database last year will no longer provide the service for free.
Experian said in a statement Monday that it will not be bidding for a state contract to continue offering the service after it expires at the end of next month. The State newspaper reports South Carolina will choose a new firm to offer credit monitoring as soon as next week.
But Experian is currently offering similar service to those already enrolled in its credit monitoring program for $11.88 per year. The company extended the offer in an email to the nearly 1.5 million people enrolled in its program. More than 6.4 million taxpayers and businesses had sensitive information compromised in the attack, according to investigators.
Gov. Nikki Haley and the Department of Revenue awarded Experian a $12 million, one-year emergency contract after state officials learned hackers stole tax information belonging to 6.4 million consumers and business from the state Department of Revenue. Nearly 1.5 million people signed up for the free service.
The company offered a second year of the service for $10 million, but the state Budget & Control Board opened the bidding after several legislators complained about Experian being awarded a no-bid contract the first time around.
Budget & Control Board officials will not say how many companies are bidding for the service.
The current contract expires at the end of October. Any new contractor must begin offering the service by October 24.