In October, Govenor Nikki Haley announced that nearly four million South Carolinans' information was hacked through a security breach at the Department of Revenue. The state is offering free credit checks to those affected through a company called Experian. A Myrtle Beach man feels the free service provided by Experian isn't as good as it could be.
Edward Crowding has lived in South Carolina for nine years, which means it's a possibility his information at the Department of Revenue was stolen.
"Every key piece of information about me the Department of Revenue certainly had," said Crowding.
Because of the hack, Crowding signed up for the free service through Experian. He read further, and it asked him if he wanted Internet Scanning, a service that checks online daily to see if there's unauthorized use of your Social Security number, credit or debit card numbers.
However, that service is not available for free through the South Carolina offer with Experian.
"I called Customer Service and I said where do I look on the website for this suggested Internet Scanning Information and the customer service rep said, 'Oh you have the free South Carolina service that doesn't include internet scanning,'" said Crowding.
To get the Internet Scanning service you must pay $15.95 a month with Experian.
"It made me feel like I got much less than I thought I was getting," said Crowding.
The D.O.R. said there is a reason only certain services are given through the government option.
This is their response.
"We retained counsel, Jon Neiditz of Nelson Mullins, who has dealt with multiple breaches and regularly works with breach response vendors. Jon explained that there are different kinds of data breaches and different ways to handle them, depending on what kind of information has been exposed. In this case, the best approach is often based on credit monitoring. The choice of Experian was validated through Experian's unique willingness to accept a $12 million fee cap, which was negotiated by Governor Haley, and offer free business services, their combination of credit monitoring and fraud resolution services, and the fact that the insurance policy included in the product covers not only identity theft but fraudulent electronic fund transfers, mitigating potential bank account exposure." said Public Information Director, Samantha Cheek.
This is a copy of the exact services you can receive with Experian for free, if you are a South Carolina taxpayer.
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.
For a list of more FAQ's related to the South Carolina hack, click here.