Today starts the sign-up period to receive a second year of state-paid identity protection coverage following last year's hacking of state income tax records at the Department of Revenue, which put the personal information of millions of taxpayers at risk.
The state contracted with Experian for credit monitoring during the first year after the data breach, but is switching to CSID for the next year.
Marti Phillips, who heads the new ID Theft Unit with the state Department of Consumer Affairs, suggests enrolling soon.
“The Experian enrollment was for a year from the date that the individual signed up,” Phillips explains. “They don't have to wait for the expiration date to pass before they sign up with CSID.
“So you could have really dual enrollment. You could still be covered for the remainder of your term with Experian and still be enrolled with CSID beginning on October 24th.”
CSID President Joe Ross says his company will provide broader coverage, including keeping an eye on the “dark web,” where ID thieves buy and sell information.
“We monitor what we call an 'SSN trace,' which alerts you to names, aliases and addresses associated with your Social Security number; court and criminal records to alert you if your identity has been used to commit a crime,” Ross tells WVOC.
“We also monitor what we call 'payday loan activity.' That's the high-interest Cash America, pawn shop-type loans. So we'll alert you if you've had a loan taken out in that arena as well. Then we also alert you if a change of address has been processed to re-route your mail to gain access to your personal information.”
Ross says CSID also offers identity restoration service in case you do become a victim of ID theft, plus $1-million worth of insurance to cover expenses associated with recovering your identity.
You can enroll for the new protection coverage online or by calling a toll-free number – even if you did not sign up with Experian the first year.
Sign-up can be done online at www.scidprotection.com or by calling a toll-free number, 1-855-880-2743.