State security breach prompts questions

South Carolina residents are beginning to receive letters from the S.C. Department of Revenue concerning their accounts and the recent security breach. Family Trust wants to help guide you through this situation and urges everyone to first sign up for our IDProtect™ plan. For those who have concerns, we’re happy to address your questions.

Here are a few:

What does the letter say?

Letters were sent to 600,000 South Carolina residents and 760,000 non-residents who were electronic filers of state taxes during the exposure period. It reviews what happened and outlines steps to take to protect yourself and your family. The state hopes that all affected will receive their letter by the end of the month. Click here to access a copy of the letter.

What does it mean to place a Fraud Alert on my credit report?

If you suspect your identity may have been comprised, you can consider putting a Fraud Alert on your credit report. This is a cautionary flag placed on your credit file to notify lenders and others that they should take special precautions to verify your identity before extending credit. When you place a Fraud Alert, you have the option to provide a phone number where you can be contacted to verify that the individual applying for credit is actually you.

It is necessary to contact only one of the three credit bureaus. As soon as one of the three bureaus confirms your Fraud Alert, the others are notified to place alerts on their records as well. You will be able to order credit reports, free of charge, from all three credit bureaus after receiving confirmation of the Fraud Alert.

The contact information for the three bureaus is below:

Equifax Fraud Reporting
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian Fraud Reporting
P.O. Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Fraud Reporting
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

What is a credit report freeze?

A credit freeze is an escalated step to protect your credit when you have evidence that your identity has been compromised. Placing a freeze will prevent lenders, potential employers, cell phone and insurance companies, and others from accessing your credit report, which will prevent them from extending credit unless you temporarily lift or permanently remove the freeze.

Each of the three major credit reporting bureaus must be contacted if you want to place a credit freeze. To place a credit freeze, contact each of the three bureaus below:

Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Fraud Reporting
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Where can I find more information?

South Carolina Department of Revenue

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs

Federal Trade Commission

What else can I do?

Make sure you have enrolled in the free identity theft protection offered through the SC Department of Revenue and Family Trust’s IDProtect™, which is free to members who have Premier Choice and Prime Times checking, and costs $1.95 a month for other members. A checking account is required. Sign up at any of our seven branches.

The state’s free credit monitoring is available to individuals and businesses that paid state taxes since 1998. Residents can register through protecymyid/scdor at Experian. The enrollment code is SCDOR123.

Residents who don’t have access to a computer can enroll by calling 1-866-578-5422. The deadline is March 31.