The State paid $12 million to the credit bureau Experian through a no-bid contract that Gov. Nikki Haley negotiated after state officials learned of a cyber-theft last October. That service, dubbed Protect My ID, provided daily monitoring of the three credit bureaus for newly opened credit accounts.
Budget and Control Board director Marcia Adams said Monday the state intends to award Texas-based CSIdentity Corp. the next contract. The contract calls for the state to pay up to $8.5 million, depending on how many people sign up over the next year and when.
Taxpayers affected by last fall's massive hacking at South Carolina's Department of Revenue should get more identity theft protection services at a lower cost to the state under the new contract for state-paid monitoring. But the service provides more extensive surveillance to catch other ways stolen identities are used, including payday loans, sex offender registries and online chat rooms where cyber-thieves sell and buy information. Addresses will be monitored to catch the possibility of mail being fraudulently redirected, while court documents will be tracked in case criminals use an enrollee's stolen ID when they're arrested. The tracing of Social Security numbers should alert enrollees to someone creating a false address or alias using their information.
Legislators were critical of the no-bid contract and its limited credit notifications. They approved extending services and designated $10 million in the 2013-14 budget toward a second year, but they required the state to seek more consumer protection services through the procurement process. "Gov. Haley's main goal has always been to provide the very best in protection and monitoring at the least possible cost and that is exactly what the state will be getting with CSID," said Haley spokesman Doug Mayer.
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