S.C. officials to give update on hacking as frustration rises
As some South Carolina taxpayers, fearing their tax records have been hacked, complain about difficulties in getting access to the state's newly created self-help system, state leaders plan an update today on the massive security breach.
The state is paying for taxpayers to receive identity protection services from Experian for one year.
To register by phone, call 1-866-578-5422. The hotline is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
To register online, go to protectmyid.com/scdor and use the code “SCDOR123.” At some point, that generic code may not work, and residents will have to call the hotline number.
Gov. Nikki Haley and SLED Chief Mark Keel have scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference at the State House. But an announcement from Haley's spokesman Rob Godfrey gives no indication of which aspects for the invasion of privacy case they plan to address.
The governor's office also had scheduled a conference call at the same time for legislators. Godfrey said Sunday they will adjust the briefing to either just before or just after the news conference.
Haley, Keel and other state and federal authorities on Friday disclosed that a foreign hacker or hackers had stolen 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit or debit card numbers from the S.C. Department of Revenue during a series of cyber attacks that date to Aug. 27.
None of the data — except 16,000 of the credit card numbers — was encrypted, said Revenue Department director James Etter.
State officials advised anyone who had filed a state tax return since 1998 to take steps to learn if their information had been misused by identity thieves.
The state is offering one year of free credit monitoring to worried taxpayers.
Residents can call 866-578-5422 or visit www.protectmyID.com/scdor and enter the activation code SCDOR123.
The S.C. Consumer Affairs Department planned to add part-time staffers to answer phone calls during business hours starting today. Call 800-922-1594 for advice to request a freeze on your credit records. Privacy advocates say that is the surest way to block identity theft.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly listed a phone number for the S.C. Consumer Affairs Department. The correct number is 800-922-1594. The Post and Courier regrets the error.