ENROLL IN FREE CREDIT MONITORING AND IDENTITY PROTECTION: The state is paying for taxpayers to receive identity-protection services from Experian for one year. South Carolinians can enroll either online or by phone. To register by phone, call 1-866-578-5422. The hotline is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. To register online, go to protectmyid.com/scdor and use the code “SCDOR123.” At some point, that generic code may not work, and residents will have to call the hotline number.


PLACE A FRAUD ALERT or SECURITY FREEZE ON your credit RECORDS: Residents can request “fraud alerts” to let potential creditors know they may be a victim of identity theft or request a “security freeze” to restrict potential creditors’ access to your credit records. To place a fraud alert, call Equifax at 1-800-685-1111, Experian at 1-888-397-3742 or TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289. To place a security freeze, you must contact each agency individually. Under South Carolina law, the consumer reporting agencies cannot charge consumers fees for placing, temporarily lifting or removing a security freeze.


REGULARLY CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT: Get free credit reports from the three largest credit-rating organizations by going to annualcreditreport.com.


FOR BUSINESSES: Both Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. and Experian are offering free credit-monitoring services for all South Carolina businesses that have filed state taxes since 1998. Dun & Bradstreet is offering lifetime credit-monitoring via its CreditAlert product. Visit DandB.com/SC or call customer service toll-free at 800-279-9881. Experian is offering one year of its Business Credit Advantage product at smartbusinessreports.com/SouthCarolina. The deadline to sign up for the Experian service is Jan. 31. There is no deadline to sign up for the Dun & Bradstreet service.