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If you've filed a tax return in South Carolina since 1998, you could be at risk of fraud or identity theft, and need to take steps to protect yourself.
About 3.8 million Social Security numbers, 387,000 credit and debit card numbers and 657,000 business tax filings were exposed when the South Carolina Department of Revenue was the victim of a cyber attack in mid-September. Officials said information on the front of checks could have been exposed, too, including routing numbers and bank account numbers.
South Carolina is offering free services, including credit monitoring, to help current and former taxpayers protect themselves, but you must sign up before Jan. 31.
You can sign up http://www.protectmyid.com/scdor">online by entering the enrollment code SCDOR123 and filling out the requested information fields, or you can call 866-578-5422 to start the enrollment process. Customer service hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time on Mondays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time on Saturdays and Sundays.
The state is providing a free copy of your Experian credit report; credit monitoring of your accounts at the three credit reporting companies; identity theft resolution with an agent who will walk you through the needed steps to take if you have been a victim of identity theft; $1 million identity theft insurance; and a family protection plan.
Business owners can sign up for credit monitoring services through http://www.dandb.com/sc/">Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., or by calling 800-279-9881. They also can sign up for Experian's Business Credit AdvantageSM http://www.smartbusinessreports.com/SouthCarolina">self-monitoring service.
South Carolina warns taxpayers to be aware of scams that tend to surface in the wake of such news. Officials will never call or otherwise contact anyone affected to ask for personal information. Don't give out your Social Security number or any other personal information to anyone who contacts you.