SC taxpayers can sign up for free credit monitoring, ID theft protection | News
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP)- Taxpayers can start signing up for a second year of state-paid credit monitoring resulting from last year's massive hacking of South Carolina's tax collection agency.
Enrollment for consumer protection services through CSIdentity Corp. begins Thursday. It's free to the millions of residents and business owners whose unencrypted personal data was stolen last September from the Department of Revenue's computer servers.
However, some taxpayers signing up reported some difficulties doing so.
"I think an element of that was to be expected on the first day of enrollment," said Marti Phillips with SC Consumer Affairs. "It was like that last year. There would just be initial high call volume."
One viewer told us he tried several times to register online, later managing to call the company only to be told it could take up to five days to deliver a PIN number that would allow him to complete the process.
South Carolina is paying CSID up to $8.5 million for its services, depending on how many people sign up.
About 1.4 million people signed up for free credit monitoring through Experian. That $12 million state contract is expiring, and enrollments will not transfer.
The new security provider offers credit monitoring through only one bureau instead of the three offered by Experian.
But CSID also checks additional databases including court records, online black markets, pay day loan outfits and sex offender registries. Children's identities and businesses are also covered.
Consumer Affairs ID Theft expert Marti Phillips says it's important to remember there's more to keeping your identity safe than credit monitoring.
"We always encourage consumers to always look at all three credit reports," Phillips said. "Because not all information is reported on the same on all three credit reports. But that's just one tool. I would say that's just one component. You need to monitor financial statements, you need to monitor bank records. You need to monitor your health explanation of benefits, your EOB's from insurance companies."
Those interested can call CSID at (855) 880-2743 or visit www.scidprotection.com.
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