Governor thanks co-ops, others for help in DOR breach
November 02, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Nikki Haley today announced that public and private utilities and the twenty electric cooperatives of South Carolina are including a message regarding identity theft protection in customers’ electric and gas bills. More than 3.1 million customers across the state will be reached as customers begin to receive messages in November and December bills.
The governor’s office reached out to presidents and chief officers of utility companies and electric cooperatives to ask for assistance in contacting customers in the wake of the South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) information technology security breach, and executives were more than willing to offer help.
“As I said yesterday, in the wake of bad people doing bad things, it’s wonderful to see good people stepping up to do good things,” said Gov. Haley. “I can’t thank these companies and executives enough – including Mike Couick from Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Keller Kissam from South Carolina Electric & Gas (a SCANA company), Clark Gillespy from Duke Energy of South Carolina and Lonnie Carter of Santee Cooper – for stepping up to help the people of our state. They are great corporate citizens.”
The message each utility or cooperative will include, in whole or in part, is the following:
Protect yourself against identity theft
In October, the S.C. Department of Revenue learned that its records were breached in a criminal cyber attack. As a result, anyone who has paid SC taxes since 1998 may have had his or her personal information compromised.
S.C. individual taxpayers should do the following by Jan. 31, 2013:
- Visit www.ProtectMyID.com/SCDOR (code SCDOR123) or call 1-866-578-5422 (M-F 9am-9pm EST; S-S 11am-8pm EST) to enroll for one year of identity theft protection.
S.C. business owners should do one or both of the following by Jan. 31, 2013:
All services are free of charge. For more information, please contact the SC Department of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-922-1594 or visit www.consumer.sc.gov.
S.C. DOR last week announced that approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers had been exposed in a cyber attack, and state officials said Wednesday that information from up to 657,000 businesses was also exposed.
As of Friday morning, the Experian call center set up to assist South Carolina taxpayers had received approximately 665,000 calls and approximately 561,000 signups for Experian’s ProtectMyID program. Access to unlimited fraud resolution beyond the one year enrollment period is included in Experian’s ProtectMyID membership and available to any taxpayer affected by DOR’s information security breach. Taxpayers who sign up for protection will also be notified – by email or letter – about how to sign up for a “Family Secure Plan” if they claim minors as dependents.
Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp offers South Carolina businesses that have filed a tax return since 1998 a CreditAlert product that will alert customers to changes taking place in their business credit file. Even something as simple as a change to a business address or a company officer change would set off an alert to the business owner. The cost will be waived for business filing tax returns since 1998. Business owners can visit http://www.dandb.com/sc/ or they can call customer service toll free at this dedicated phone number 1-800-279-9881.
Experian is offering those impacted South Carolina businesses Business Credit AdvantageSM - a self-monitoring service that allows unlimited access to a company’s business credit report and score. Beginning Thursday, South Carolina businesses can sign up for Business Credit AdvantageSM at http://www.smartbusinessreports.com. SouthCarolina.Gov. Haley reiterated that anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 should take the following steps:
- Call 1-866-578-5422 to enroll in a consumer protection service. (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.)
- For any South Carolina taxpayer who wishes to bypass the telephone option, there currently is an online service available at http://www.protectmyid.com/scdor. Enter the code SCDOR123 when prompted. South Carolina taxpayers have until the end of January, 2013 to sign up.Experian’s ProtectMyID™ Alert is designed to detect, protect and resolve potential identity theft, and includes daily monitoring of all three credit bureaus. The alerts and daily monitoring services are provided for one year, and consumers will continue to have access to fraud resolution agents and services beyond the first year. Complimentary 12-month ProtectMyID memberships available to South Carolina taxpayers affected by the DOR information security breach include:
- Credit Report: A free copy of your Experian credit report.
- Daily 3 Bureau Credit Monitoring: Alerts you of suspicious activity including new inquiries, newly opened accounts, delinquencies, or medical collections found on your Experian, Equifax® and TransUnion® credit reports.
- Identity Theft Resolution: If you have been a victim of identity theft, you will be assigned a dedicated, U.S.-based Experian Identity Theft Resolution Agent who will walk you through the fraud resolution process, from start to finish.
- ExtendCARE: Full access to the same personalized assistance from a highly-trained Fraud Resolution Agent even after your initial ProtectMyID membership expires.
- $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance: As a ProtectMyID member, you are immediately covered by a $1 Million insurance policy that can help you cover certain costs including, lost wages, private investigator fees, and unauthorized electronic fund transfers.