News Column

SC Credit Protection Offer Ends Sunday

March 29, 2013

South Carolina residents have until Sunday to accept the state Department of Revenue's offer of a year of credit monitoring and identity theft protection through Experian's ProtectMyID.

The service is free insofar as the state tax dollars to provide it for all who request it. The offer was made after a hacker gained access to millions of Social Security numbers and hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers of people and businesses that filed state income tax forms since 1998.

There are two ways to enroll. One is to visit and enter the enrollment code SCDOR123 and fill out the requested information.

People who don't have Internet access can call Experian's ProtectMyID Customer Service toll-free at 1-866-578-5422 this Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

DOR's Data Breach Assistance Team will be available throughout the weekend to assist individuals with the enrollment process. The team can be reached at 803-898-7638. The Data Breach Assistance Team was established to provide taxpayers with information regarding identity protection, and to coordinate with Experian to resolve any issues with enrollment or the fraud resolution services offered through ProtectMyID.

Individuals must enroll with ProtectMyID by this Sunday to be eligible to enroll minor dependents by the Family Secure deadline of May 31.

The services include:

-- Daily monitoring of suspicious activity found on the credit reports of Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

-- A free copy of your Experian credit report.

-- An identity theft resolution agent to assist in resolving fraud cases from start to finish, regardless of length of time.

-- $1 million identity theft insurance to cover lost wages, private investigator fees and unauthorized electronic fund transfers if needed.

DOR reminded residents to be wary of giving Social Security numbers or other identifying information -- or money -- to strangers who call or otherwise approach you, particularly if they pressure you into making a hasty decision.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: (c)2013 The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, S.C.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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