Residents urged to take action following cyber security breach

By Nicole Daughhetee
Staff Writer

The State of South Carolina is offering residents and businesses one year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection following one of the largest cyber security breaches in the state or nation.

State and federal officials continue to investigate the cyber theft — a massive security breach that began in August but was not discovered until October.
Based on the latest reports, the SC Department of Revenue database taken by a foreign hacker contained 3.6 million Social Security numbers and approximately 387,000 credit and debit card numbers.

What does this mean for residents of Pickens County?

Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return from 1998 to the present could potentially be affected by this enormous security breach and are faced with the possibility that their identities could be stolen.

Reports continue to surface. Last week S.C. Governor Nikki Haley announced that upwards of 657,000 businesses have also been compromised as a result of this theft.

The state government is paying for the cost of the credit-protection services for the millions of residents and businesses that have been impacted; however, the burden to taxpayers has yet to be determined.

Taxpayers are being asked to call 1-866-578-5422 to determine whether their personal and financial information has been affected.

SC is paying Experian, a national credit monitoring and identity theft protection agency, up to $12 million so taxpayers can enroll in a service that will provide a year of credit monitoring.

Enrolling in Experian’s free credit monitoring and identity protection is fairly simple. Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 is urged to enroll, either online or by phone.

Pickens County residents wishing to register by phone should call 1-866-578-5422. The hotline is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. Those who prefer to register online should visit and use the code “SCDOR123.”

If for any reason the generic activation code SCDOR123 is ineffective, folks are being asked to call the hotline number referenced above. Note the deadline to register for this service is January 31, 2013.

For South Carolina businesses affected by the recent security breach, Experian is providing one year of access to your Experian Business Credit Report along with change alerts.

This service allows unlimited access to the company’s complete business credit report and score, plus timely email notifications of changes to the business credit profile.

Businesses can register online at Once a valid email address is provided, the business will receive their access code through an email. With the access code, they are able to check their report(s) on

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation has agreed to provide businesses a CreditAlerts service to businesses in South Carolina, and enrollment costs will be waived for businesses that register prior to January 31, 2013.

The CreditAlerts service, according to Dun & Bradstreet, helps ensure that businesses see exactly where their credit stands; allowing business owners to see when their credit scores change, when there are business inquiries, and when there is potential fraudulence or other threats.

South Carolina business owners and managers seeking more information or looking to sign up can call Dun and Bradstreet credit advisors at 800-279-9881 (although wait times for the phone lines continue to be extensive). Businesses can also find more information or register online via

Identity theft not only has the potential to be devastating financially, but it can also be personally taxing as well. SC residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the credit monitoring and identity theft protection being offered by Experian and Dun & Bradstreet.