On Friday the South Carolina Department of Revenue announced that taxpayer records had been hacked in a cyber attack. Approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and roughly 387,000 credit and debit card numbers may have been stolen. Everyone who has filed a SC tax return since 1998 could be affected by the attack.
For more detailed information from the DOR, you can view the Department’s press release here.
Like you, I am just hearing about this breach in security. I am probably a little overprotective of my personal information, so this whole episode really angers me. And I’m not at all happy that it took DOR more than 2 weeks to notify the public about this lapse in security. I am sure you feel the same way.
The DOR is working with SLED, the U.S. Secret Service, and information security specialists to track down the hackers and determine exactly what information has been exposed. I expect there will be legislative reviews, as well, to find out how this unacceptable break down occurred. For now, though, the important thing is that we all take steps to protect our personal information.
If you filed a SC tax return at any time since 1998, you should take the following steps:
1. Call 1-866-578-5422 to determine if your personal information has been affected. If your information has been exposed, you can enroll in a consumer protection service at no cost to you. The call center is open 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM EST on Monday through Friday and 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday. Since many South Carolinians will be calling, it may take a little while to get through.
2. If you enroll in the protection service, you can choose to have alerts sent to you online or via US Mail.
3. If you choose to have alerts sent online, the person you speak with at 1-866-578-5422 will give you an Activation Code to use at http://www.protectmyid.com/scdor. For the US Mail service, you will receive notifications via the US mail.
This is all the information I have at this time. I encourage you to share it with friends and relatives. I will pass along more information when I receive it.