Letters to hacking victims go out this week

Keep an eye on your mailbox. You could soon get a letter letting you know if your personal information has been stolen.

More notification letters are going out this week, related to the hacking at the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

In September, Social Security numbers from about 3.9 million South Carolinians and nearly 700,000 businesses were swiped by hackers.

To help detect potential identify theft, Gov. Nikki Haley has announced that the state will provide one year of free credit monitoring for individuals by Experian. Businesses can get free credit reports from Dun & Bradstreet. Letters have gone out over the past couple of weeks explaining how to sign up for those services.

The stolen data also included several million personal bank account numbers and a new round of letters will start going out this week specifically with dealing those accounts.

A judge has issued an order allowing the state government to release personal taxpayers' information to banks and credit unions around the state, so they can find out which of their accounts were susceptible to being hacked.

State officials say if you have filed any state taxes electronically since 1998, your account is vulnerable.

Banks are now going through those accounts, to find out which ones were involved in the hack and are still active accounts.

Fred Green, president of the South Carolina Bankers Association, tells NewsChannel 15 that banks have already started monitoring those accounts, to see if there is any suspicious activity.

He says people should find out within the next few weeks from their bank whether their specific accounts were raided.

If your account was breached, he says you should start paying close attention to your bank statements to spot any fraudulent charges. If you see any charge that shouldn't be there, contact your bank immediately.

Green says you can change your account number, but that's an involved process that includes getting new checks and debit cards, changing direct deposit information and so on. Green advises that you not put yourself through all that unless you're convinced there's a problem.

Green says banks will also do their own screening and will set up a network to share information about thieves.

They will not charge you for any of this new security, or for replacing any fraudulent charges, if they are reported within 60 days.

For a list of frequently asked questions about the security breach, click here.