You’ve probably heard by now about the cyber attack on the SC Department of Revenue, which resulted in 3.6 million Social Security numbers, 387,000 credit & debit card numbers, and 657,000 business tax filings being exposed.
We sent out a couple of e-alerts, encouraging clients to sign up for identity theft protection being offered at no charge for one year by the state. To sign up, you can call 1-866-578-5422 or visit www.protectmyid.com/scdor (activation code is SCDOR123). If you claim minors as dependents, you’ll then be notified about how to sign up for a “Family Secure Plan” which will also protect dependents under the age of 18.
Because hackers often wait two years or longer to use or sell stolen information, we also recommend that you take extra steps to monitor and protect your credit, both now and over the next few years:
- Utilize the annual free credit reports at (https://www.AnnualCreditReport.com) and review and report any unusual or suspicious activity.
- Be sure to also do this for dependent children’s social security numbers as well and monitor their credit records.
- Continue to monitor your own credit card and bank account statements for any suspicious activity going forward. Consider taking the quick fraud test on these websites to see if there is any other action you may need to take or change to lessen the chance of any improper access or risk to your credit records.
- To insure even stronger security, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends you consider freezing your credit activity or placing a fraud alert on your credit report. This will prevent anyone from touching your credit. If you decide to make any purchases or to use your credit you will need to remove the freeze to do so. The information to accomplish this will be on the website or you can call the numbers of the agencies above.
- Many of our clients contact us and request that we send copies of their tax returns to them or various third parties electronically. It is our policy to obtain each client’s express approval and then send this information encrypted for protection. If we’ve sent you a return securely and you’re unsure how to open it, please contact us and we will be glad to walk you through the steps.