Emails tell taxpayer their ID was hacked

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - More than 3.5 million letters have gone out to South Carolinians from the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR).

The letters are notifying taxpayers whose information was compromised in the recent SCDOR security breach. Starting last Tuesday, the SCDOR office began sending out the first batch of 500,000 emails, also alerting people whose identity is compromised.

Samantha Cheek, the Public Information Director with SCDOR says the e-mail will come from Experian on behalf of the South Carolina Department of Revenue. Hard copy letters are still being sent through standard mail.

Cheek says people should be on the lookout. Emails and letter are the only two ways the department will alert compromised tax payers.

Tax payers like Anthony Moore say they are keeping a close eye on their credit and their mailboxes. "I'm waiting on anything to see if my information has been hacked. But, I've been monitoring my credit every month just to make sure that nothing is going on that I didn't authorize," said Moore.

Unlike Moore, Patricia Roehrig received a letter in the mail telling her she's a victim of the security breach.

Roehrig is one of 1.2 million people who signed up for one year of free credit monitoring through Experian. She's already thinking about extending the service once the 12 months are up.

"We will look into that because it is a great service," said Roehrig.

Experian and similar credit monitoring services cost about $16 a month. Cheek says another option they recommend for people to freeze their credit. A freeze prevents anyone from accessing one's credit report without their permission, and can ultimately stop a thief from taking out a new line of credit in their name.

The South Carolina of Consumer Affairs office has a website with information on how to set up a credit freeze. People can also find the link to sign up for the Experian 'ProtectMyId' service.

Cheek says the deadline to register is March 31. The SCDOR will send out all notifications, via e-mail or standard mail by the end of the week.

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