CEO addresses state security breach

Within the next few days many of you will be receiving a letter or email from the SC Department of Revenue. The letter will notify SC residents who were exposed by the highly publicized breach of the SCDOR data in September 2012.

We’re sure you may have concerns, but here are some important things to understand:

1. If you do not receive a letter or email from the SC Department of Revenue, the state assures us your information was not compromised.

2. Only the taxpayers that filed electronically were involved in the data breach. Those who submitted a paper file return are not involved.

3. The exposed data includes the Social Security number for you and any other person listed on your return as a dependent, such as spouse and children. This can only harm you if the intruder attempts to steal your identity, which we do not believe is their primary motivation. Registering for the state-provided identity theft product at Experian, and Family Trust’s IDProtect product will provide adequate protection should someone attempt to steal your identity. It is wise to have IDProtect even if you are not on the SCDOR list.

4. If you included your account number for the electronic deposit of your tax refund, this information was likely compromised. This may require closing your account and letting us give you a new account number.

5. And if you paid any state taxes by using your Visa credit card, this information was possibly compromised. However, because Visa cards have an expiration date, it is probable that your number has since changed. We are attempting to get a list of the compromised numbers from Visa. As soon as we have that information, we will automatically notify members and issue them a new card.

Family Trust is highly motivated to protect our members’ data. Please understand that this breach involves the entire state of South Carolina and the financial institutions where they hold accounts. We cannot speak for what others are doing to protect their account holders and you may want to contact them to find out.

Once again, our IDProtect is one of the best products available and offered at no charge to many of our members and a minimum cost to others. Click here to learn more about it. We will continue to follow up with information and with answers to your questions; we’d love to hear what’s on your mind.

In the meantime, let me thank you for the confidence that you place in us as your credit union. We are certainly not the largest provider of financial services in this market, but we have high levels of protection and security for our members and our intent is to remain disciplined in this area.