More than 1.4 million South Carolina taxpayers signed up for free credit monitoring and identity theft protection by the deadline Sunday, according to the Department of Revenue.
The ProtectMyID service from Experian was offered to anyone who filed a South Carolina tax return after 1998 because hackers broke into the Revenue Department’s computers last year and compromised taxpayers’ financial data.
The state paid $12 million to Experian to offer the ProtectMyID service to the estimated 3.8 million taxpayers whose data was compromised.
The deadline to sign up was Sunday, and 1,448,798 people enrolled, according to the state.
The state is paying 69 cents per month, per person, for a service similar to the ProtectMyID plan that Experian offers the public for $15.95 a month.
Those who signed up for the state’s offer get one year of the service, starting on the date they enrolled. The service includes monitoring of credit reports and identity theft protection services.
Some lawmakers have proposed extending the free credit protection, and the Legislature will be considering that.
Taxpayers who signed up will also have until the end of May to enroll dependents whose data may have also been compromised, such as minor children whose Social Security numbers would have been listed on tax returns.
Experian will notify those who enrolled if they are eligible to enroll dependents in the Family Secure service, which would also be free for one year.
Businesses were also offered a free credit protection service with a March 31 sign-up deadline, but few businesses enrolled.
On Friday, days before the deadline, fewer than 11,000 of the 699,000 eligible businesses had signed up.