Banks To Notify Hacked Customers

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- "As they say, knowledge is power," says Juliana Harris, spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Consumer affairs.

A call from the bank could answer a long awaited question for millions of South Carolinians: Is my personal information in the hands of an international hacker?

This week a judge gave banks and credit unions in the state the green light to notify customers if they were hacked.

Harris says this is good for the consumer.

"If you know your info has been compromised, if you know for certain that direct deposit account number has been compromised then you can start to take other steps to monitor it," says Harris.

More than 3 million bank account numbers were potentially exposed in the October security breach.

Harris says with this move, banks can better look out for their customers by isolating those affected.

"It's gonna allow them to more easily monitor those things, instead of monitoring all the accounts maybe they only have to monitor 30% of the accounts they have," says Harris.

Already taxpayers have been informed that those who filed taxes electronically are most at risk. While those who filed on paper, need not worry.

Another notification will soon come to those affected. Starting next week, Governor Nikki Haley says taxpayers will start receiving letters if their personal information was stolen.

Still, there are steps you can take: First, sign up for 90 day fraud alert. Also, sign up for the credit protection offered by the state. And if necessary, you can also put a security freeze on your credit report. It's a free service that will not affect your loans and can be lifted anytime you need to get a new loan.

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