Deadline approaching for free credit-monitoring service - and many have yet to sign up

As the deadline nears for South Carolina residents to sign up for a free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection, nearly two-thirds of those eligible have not signed up. Buy this photo

As the deadline nears for South Carolina residents to sign up for a free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection, nearly two-thirds of those eligible have not signed up.

The deadline is March 31.

The ProtectMyID service from Experian, paid for by the state at a cost of $12 million, is being offered to anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998. The offer came after the state Department of Revenue computers were attacked by hackers last year and massive amounts of data were compromised.

Social Security, credit card and bank account numbers were among the information hackers may have accessed.

Information from 3.8 million tax filers, plus 1.9 million of their dependents, and 699,000 businesses, was compromised.

While most of those eligible for a free year of credit monitoring have not signed up, some South Carolina lawmakers believe the state should offer more.

A Senate subcommittee approved a bill Tuesday calling for 10 years of state-sponsored credit-report monitoring and protection, tax deductions for people buying identity-theft protection or resolution services, and new government watchdog positions that would focus on identity theft.

The bill next goes to the Senate Finance Committee.

In the meantime, residents can sign up for the free year of the Experian service, which among other features monitors credit reports and alerts people to changes and credit inquiries.

Of the 3.8 million individuals whose data was compromised, less than 1.4 million had signed up for ProtectMyID as of last week.

To sign up for ProtectMyID, individuals should visit protectmyid.com/scdor and use the activation code SCDOR123, or call toll-free 866-578-5422.

Business owners can sign up for free credit monitoring services through either Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. at dandb.com/sc or Experian’s Business Credit AdvantageSM at smartbusinessreports.com/SouthCarolina.



The State newspaper contributed to this report.

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