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How you can stay safe during SC’s Identify Thief Awareness Month

December is Identity Theft Awareness Month and SCDCA is urging consumers to stay on guard.
December is Identity Theft Awareness Month and SCDCA is urging consumers to stay on guard.
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 9:20 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs says that tax fraud is the top way consumers report their identities being stolen so far this year.

Since the beginning of the year, 397 consumers reported ID theft, they lost a total of $730,248.21, SCDCA says.

December is Identity Theft Awareness Month and SCDCA is urging consumers to stay on guard.

Here is how SCDCA says you can keep your information and money safe:

  • 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 and accounts: Check all monthly statements and account activity. Review your statements and credit report for unauthorized purchases and accounts and suspicious items. You can obtain your free credit reports by clicking here 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 and 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.

SCDCA is holding three free webinars in December on ID Theft:

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