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Letter to the Editor

Writer Says SC Not Telling Truth on Credit Monitoring after Hacking

web posted January 29, 2013

Dear Editor:
Governor Haley knows. Senators on the SC Finance Sub-committee know. Treasurer Loftis knows. Attorney General Wilson knows. Most SC taxpayers received a letter from the SCDOR alerting that THEY lost your information, yet they did not let you know. What do they know that they have not let you know?

The identity theft protection they are offering to the taxpayers at a cost of $12 million of the taxpayers money is of little or no value and DOES NOT protect your identity. The Federal Trade Commission warns that credit monitoring services detects less than 13% of identity theft use, alerts you AFTER someone has used or tried to use your credit report, then does not help fix the problem but instead tells you how to fix any problems on your own. But more important they know that if you freeze your credit report then credit monitoring is of no value at all!

Your state leaders have been alerted to the fact that last year the IRS paid out over $5 billion dollars in false tax refunds and are expecting that to double this year. Are the criminals going to get YOUR tax refund? Credit monitoring will not tell you or help. The Federal Trade Commission reported that last year over 53% use of stolen identity information was used to gain government documents such as drivers license, passports, birth certificates and government benefits like social security payments, welfare, food stamps, federal student loans and grants. Credit monitoring will not detect most of this nor be of service when it does happen.

Our state leaders know that credit monitoring does not monitor or alert you if people use your credit cards, debit card, bank account, savings account or 401K. They know that a credit report freeze in no way affects your use of credit cards, bank accounts nor does it stop others from forging YOUR credit card or debit card; but most important, CREDIT MONITORING IN NO WAY PROTECTS YOUR IDENTITY.

So what should you know and do? 1. There is no way to protect your information 2. Freeze your credit report. You may still buy a car, apply for a loan or mortgage, etc. you just tell the credit bureau to let a certain bank or company ask about your credit risk. 3. Criminals using a fake id could be using YOUR name, ssn, drivers license number, medial information or have YOUR birth certificate 4. Do not put a fraud alert on your credit report because new policies are in place with lending institutions which would make it very difficult to get any type of loan.

Many of you are the last to know this information. State leaders still want to give you a false sense of security with credit monitoring. Call your Senator or representative to tell them you know the truth. You can handle the truth and given the correct information you are intelligent enough to act on the truth. Call the SC Consumer Affairs Dept. and your Attorney General to let them know that any service claiming to be able to “protect your identity” should be brought to task so they can only advertise that they “monitor and alert” nothing more.

Joye McElrath Hanna
Mt Pleasant, SC



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