The South Carolina Department of Revenue ("Department") announced that it was the victim of a cyber-attack in September 2012, which resulted in a major data security breach. As a result of the breach, the Department estimates the records of approximately 4.5 million individual and business taxpayers were compromised. Included in the information stolen were social security numbers, employer identification numbers, bank accounts and credit card numbers.
The breach was confirmed to be a result of the Department following outdated policies and procedures that did not require the encryption of certain sensitive data - policies which have since changed. The Department has identified and is in the process of informing the taxpayers who were affected. In addition, the Department has made arrangements for all taxpayers who have filed tax returns since 1998 to receive one year of identity protection at no charge. Following are some of the benefits provided under the identity protection arrangement:
- Free credit report
- Daily credit monitoring
- Identity theft resolution
- Identity theft insurance
Taxpayers interested in taking advantage of the no-cost protection are encouraged to act quickly, because enrollment must be completed by January 31, 2013.
Additional information, including instructions for enrolling in the identity protection program, can be found on the Department's website.
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