New Bill Could Create New State Department, Help Citizens Fight Hack Attacks, Identity Theft, and Social Security Fraud
Just two weeks after South Carolina’s Department of Revenue suffered a serious hack attack, Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Hugh Leatherman assigned Sen. Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson) and Sen. Billy O’Dell (R-Abbeville) to investigate the breach.
Three months later, the state’s first cyber security bill is complete, and ready to be filed.
“This issue goes beyond partisan politics,” said Senator Darrell Jackson (D-Richland County). “This is one of the biggest issues this state has ever had to deal with.”
The bill proposes a lifetime protection plan, created by the Governor and offered to affected citizens free of charge, which will protect against identity theft and social security fraud, which could be common, recurring problems after the massive hack attack.
A possible, proposed solution would be to offer tax credits to those hit by the hack attack – nearly 4 million people and businesses.
“It is so important in my opinion to ensure this for the rest of peoples’ lives,” said Jackson. “How it’s paid for could actually change, but what I think is so important is for the citizens of South Carolina to know, that protection will be available for them.”
The bill would also create an identity theft unit within the Department of Consumer Affairs, as well as a Joint Information Security Oversight Committee, and a Technology Investment Council. These new departments would oversee statewide technology and information services, and create standards of security for the government and citizens.
Most importantly, the bill proposes to create a new state department – the Department of Information Security, which would “develop statewide policies, standards, programs, and services related to cyber security and information systems.”
Senator Jackson said of the legislation: “We may move from being the most vulnerable state, to the most protected state at the end of this process.”
IRS Concerns Stress Importance of Cyber Security to Protect Against Hack Attacks, Identity Theft, and Social Security Fraud
The South Carolina bill comes just as the IRS issued a warning to tax payers – especially college students and those on social security incomes.
The Internal Revenue Service stated on Wednesday, February 6th, that two vulnerable groups – those receiving social security benefits, and college students – are the current targets of tax scammers.
The IRS has been investigating the issue since January 30th. Two Southern states suffered from a scam wave which duped 500 citizens out of their social security numbers. There could still be more victims of the scam out there.
“Two weeks ago, we had reports of 500 individuals who were duped out of their life savings and provided their Social Security numbers,” said IRS spokesperson Mark Green.
The scammer dupes college students by posting ads for student tax credits that do not actually exist. They use the ad to collect social security numbers and names from students, then use the information to file tax returns and keep the refunds.
Churchgoers in South Carolina and Georgia have also been hit hard by the scam.
“They will either visit churches, make a partnership with the pastor, talk to the congregation and provide bogus credit information to the congregation to get them to provide their Social Security numbers and their checking and savings account information, stating that they can get them a stimulus credit, which does not exist,” said Green.
To protect yourself from both the hack attack and other scammers, do not give out your personal information to strangers, over the phone, or over email. Also, keep an eye on your bank account, and immediately report any fraudulent charges that appear.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help With Social Security Problems in South Carolina
If past problems with your records affect your ability to apply for Social Security or Social Security Disability in the state of South Carolina, the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Social Security can be complex. Not understanding the basics and not having counsel can leave you in a bind. We understand that you need your benefits. We will put our years of experience to work for you to ensure that you have the representation necessary to actively pursue your claim. Call the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm today to discuss your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income case today. We will be glad to discuss any questions you may have during our free, confidential consultation. Call the experienced attorneys at the Strom Law Firm at (803)252-4800.