SC's new tax hack protection continues to frustrate some

Some South Carolinians are still having a hard time transitioning to the state's new and free identity protection service. The service was offered in the wake of last year's cyber attack on the Department of Revenue's computer system, which compromised nearly four million taxpayers' personal information.

Last October, South Carolina contracted with Experian for one free year of identity protection for all state residents who filed tax returns between 1998 and 2012.

However, Experian's protection has expired for many.

The state is now offering open enrollment for CSID, which is a new identity protection service free of charge for those who filed their tax returns electronically between 1998 and 2012.

At this time, more than 90,000 people have successfully signed up for the service.

However, there are some people encountering problems when they try to sign up, including Lynn Chaplowe of Myrtle Beach.

Chaplowe's Experian coverage expired in October, and when she has tried to sign up for CSID, she said she gets a message that her eligibility cannot be determined.

Chaplowe has placed several calls to CSID and was given some help from customer service representatives.

"The lady took my information, and she told me I would need a PIN number to get into the system," Chaplowe said.

However, nothing has been resolved yet, and she is still waiting for a PIN number.

According to CSID's Vice President of Product & Marketing Bryan Hjelm, a PIN number is not required for in-state tax filers, like Chaplowe.

"There is actually a PIN code behind the scenes that we are using to get someone who wasn't on our list originally into the program. So we are using a PIN code behind the scenes but the state taxpayer doesn't need to know about the term PIN code, nor enter, nor have to be provided it," said Hjelm.

Hjelm said people in the same boat as Chaplowe are actually waiting for the Department of Revenue to determine whether they are eligible, based on lists of people whose tax returns were compromised.

As of now, Hjelm said the Department of Revenue is investigating 321 eligibility cases similar to Chaplowe's.

While Chaplowe waits to sign up for CSID, she has no identity protection.

However, Hjelm told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that CSID offers some protection in the interim.

"Even though she was not technically fully enrolled. She would be retroactively covered. She still has that insurance policy. Underlying. Through this program with the state, we've made a blanket coverage so we would still support her through the product," Hjelm said.

This blanket coverage is known as CSID's identity restoration, which gives people the chance to work with an identity theft restoration specialist if their information is compromised.

At his time, the Department of Revenue says it has received around 2,700 calls about people's eligibility. Fewer than 200 people were found to be ineligible.

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the tax hack, click here.