Columbia, SC—Today the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce has emailed its members with the information below.
“The information breech at the S.C. Department of Revenue is a serious threat to the business checking accounts used to conduct businiess with that state agency,” said Frank Knapp, Jr., president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “So today we are blasting out an email warning our 5000 members and recommending steps to protect their bank accounts and other possible fraud.”
Your business checking account
is probably compromised
It’s not just your identity that might be stolen
If your business has paid your payroll taxes, sales taxes, or income tax to the S.C. Department of Revenue either electronically or by check anytime since 1998, your business checking account is at risk of being raided by international hacker thieves. This problem is a result of hackers recently gaining access to the Department of Revenue’s taxpayer database of 3.6 million South Carolinians and 657,000 businesses.
While the state is providing credit monitoring and identity theft protection for individuals at no charge and tomorrow morning will start providing free Dun & Bradstreet’s CreditAlert service for the state’s businesses, neither service will protect your business checking account.
There is only one way to guarantee your business checking account will not be drained totally or experience just a series of small withdrawals over time by the foreign thieves who already have your information, including account and routing numbers. This could happen today, months or years from now causing the following problems:
1. Loss of the use of your business funds to pay bills and payroll for some time until your financial institution puts the money back into your account after a fraud investigation.
2. Checks that you have written will bounce due to insufficient funds if your account has been raided costing you penalty fees.
3. Checks that bounce will cause delinquent payment charges and possibly late payment notices being placed on your credit history.
For maximum protection for your checking accounts that you have used to do business with the Department of Revenue and protection from other fraud, the following steps can be taken:
1. Close the business checking account and open a new one. Your bank or credit union will probably do this at no charge. However, there will be a cost for ordering new checks from the company that provides that service. This is also probably good advice for personal checking accounts that have been used to pay state taxes.
2. Sign up for the no-charge Experian’s credit monitoring and identity theft protection for individuals online at www.protectmyid.com/scdor. Enter the code SCDOR123 when prompted. Then follow the instructions to enroll. Do this for every member of your family including children. Also provide this information to your employees.
3. Tomorrow morning (November 2) from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., sign up for the free Dun & Bradstreet’s CreditAlert service. Go to www.DandB.com/SC or call customer service at 800-279-9881. Dun & Bradstreet is providing this service at no charge to the state or businesses for the life of the business.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please call us at 803-252-5733.