Protections lacking for minor dependents

info@islandpacket.comDecember 7, 2012 

Though the state has tried to squelch the miserable facts of the security breach at the Department of Revenue, the bottom line is Social Security numbers of millions of taxpayers' and their minor dependents have been stolen.

The risks are financially devastating and personally ruinous. The good name and individual identity of millions of people and their children are in peril. Lucrative finder's fees are negotiated for an adult's clean Social Security number, but nothing fetches more than a child's virgin credit and felony-free Social Security number.

A few weeks after discovery, we were fed a semi-factual narrative of what occurred. We were advised to enroll in Experian's ProtectMyID program and were told Experian had a program for minors, called Family Secure. By enrolling, your children also would have credit monitoring.

The state assured us that after a parent or a legal guardian enrolled, an email would be sent containing a link to the Family Secure site, where you could register. But Family Secure isn't ready for prime time.

On Nov. 29, Experian sent the first batch of emails to 99,000 taxpayers whose children's numbers were compromised. Batches of 99,000 will continue to be released until all are notified. Do the math. Millions of taxpayers are affected. Moreover, they do not have a release date for the second batch. You can't register your children without a state-provided code for each minor, so we must wait until our "batch" is released.

While we wait, our children's identities are being "reassigned."

Lauren True

Hilton Head Island

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