October 27, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC – With Sandy raging on the shores and beating up the beaches with sledge hammer pounding, the SC Department of Revenue (SCDOR) brought us another storm. Hackers broke into the 3.6 million SC income tax return files and accessed information that potentially could be disastrous for all of us.
What does the SCDOR offer? Free credit monitoring and identity protection affected by the security breach is what the press release says. But that could that be a SC DOR Hacking failure creates stormwavesdeceptive offer – words with no substance. Sign up for the service and you’ll find that the service will notify you, but after the fact. You will still have to clean up the mess.
The service offers $1 million in Identity Protection Insurance the minute someone enrolls. This means that if you become a victim of identity theft while you are a member you may be covered. But the theft occurred in August! Are you covered when you sign up in October?
Signing up is also not that easy. Use the provided phone number and you almost always will not reach a live person! You are advised that they are experiencing high call numbers and call back at a later time. The recorded message directs you to the protectmyid.com/scdor website and enter promotion code scdor123. While for some people it is easy to access the web site and sign up, others struggle with atypical browser front pages. SCDOR must get more people on the call line!
What else can you do? Federal laws require that each of the three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – provide free of charge a credit report once each 12 months. Note that this requirement does not extend to providing a credit score. You may have to pay for that information. Check it out by going to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp and look for accounts you don’t recognize and can’t verify. Contest them immediately!
One more tip. If you are married, you must take action in both names! Also, if you included a dependent and their SSN on your return you should include them in any action you take.