Most of us are aware of the recent security breach that affected millions of South Carolina taxpayers. Because of this breach, almost everyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 could be at risk for identity theft. Many South Carolina taxpayers are asking, “What now?”
Your first step is to call the South Carolina Department of Revenue to find out if your information was stolen. The state has partnered with Experian’s ProtectMyID™, which is designed to detect, protect and resolve potential identity theft. The alerts and daily monitoring services are provided for one year and you will continue to have access to fraud resolution agents and services after the first year. To sign up visit www.protectmyid.com/scdor and use the activation code SCDOR123 or call 1-866-578-5422 for customer service.
For business owners, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation is offering South Carolina businesses a CreditAlert product that will alert customers to changes taking place in their business file. Visit www.dandb.com/sc or call 1-800-279-9881 for customer service.
To place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report with the three Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA) directly, use the following steps:
1. Contact one of the three CRAs:
Equifax: 800-525-6285 or www.freeze.equifax.com
TransUnion: 800-680-7289 or www.experian.com/freeze
Experian: 888-397-3742 or https://freeze.transunion.com
2. To place an initial fraud alert on your credit report, you only have to contact one CRA and they will notify the other two. This is a FREE service. Once you place the freeze, you will receive notice that you can get one free copy of your credit report from each of the CRAs.
3. To place a Security Freeze, you must contact each of the CRAs. It is FREE to place, thaw and lift the freeze for South Carolina residents. Once you place the freeze, you will receive a PIN you can use to thaw or lift the freeze. Make sure you keep it in a safe place. The fraud alert and security freeze are linked to your social security number, so each person in the household must place it separately.
4. Remember to track your finances. Always review your statements as soon as you receive them and review your credit report regularly for unauthorized purchases or accounts and incorrect information.
For questions on placing an alert or freeze, call the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-922-1594.