by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina officials are urging residents to sign up for an identity theft protection program following a massive security breach at the state Department of Revenue.
Investigators said 3.6 million Social Security numbers and more than 387,000 credit and debit card numbers could have been exposed to international hackers during separate probes at the DOR over the past few months.
Authorities have said they have now closed the vulnerable parts of the DOR's system, but said as many as 3 in 4 South Carolina residents could be exposed to identity theft, and that anyone who has filed a tax return in S.C. since 1998 is vulnerable.
State officials are offering one year of free protection from a credit and identity theft monitoring system, Experian. Residents can sign up online or call a toll free number to sign up, using a special code, SCDOR123. Officials said they are still negotiating the total price to taxpayers with the company, but said residents can sign up through Jan. 31, 2013, and that the program is retroactive.
You can access the program online at http://www.protectmyid.com/SCDOR.
Residents can also call toll free at 1-866-578-5422 and use the code SCDOR123 to sign up for the fraud protection, which officials said was good for up to $1 million.
Officials said they are working with the Department of Defense to notify residents serving overseas.
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