Tax fraud most reported type of identity theft in SC
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - So far this year, 64 people have reported that someone had filed their taxes for them, making tax fraud the top reported way that consumers had their identities stolen in the state, according to the SC Dept. of Consumer Affairs.
Officials say that 397 consumers have reported ID theft since January 1 totaling more than $730,000. The top reporters are in the 35- to 44-year-old age group.
Richland County has the highest amount of ID theft reports (59) seconded by Horry County (31).
December is Identity Theft Awareness Month and the SCDCA is urging people to follow these tips to protect themselves from theft:
- Don’t use debit cards online. A thief using your debit card number can drain your bank account before you even notice it. With a hijacked credit card number, while your available credit may be affected, your pocketbook is unchanged because of the added protections credit cards offer.
- Closely monitor your credit report and financial statements/accounts. Check all monthly statements and account activity. Review your statements and credit report for unauthorized purchases/accounts and suspicious items. You can obtain your FREE credit reports by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling (877) 322-8228. Because of the pandemic, you can pull your credit reports once a week until April 2022.
- Consider a fraud alert and security freeze. A fraud alert tells a business accessing your report to take extra steps to verify that you are the one seeking its goods/services. When a security freeze is in place, no one can access your report without your OK. Both are FREE, just contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place an alert and contact each to place a freeze: Equifax (800) 685-1111, Experian (888) 397-3742 and TransUnion (888) 909-8872.
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