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South Carolina introduces special unit to fight ID theft

Oct 09, 2013 Dave King

With the number of technologies consumers are using on a daily basis only growing, reports of identity theft are only becoming more commonplace. Devices such as smartphones and tablets tempt hackers, while many criminals still resort to old-fashioned methods, such as stealing wallets and mail.

In an effort to stem the tide, South Carolina has introduced the ID Theft Unit at the state Department of Consumer Affairs. The unit will be made up of four individuals who will help fight this crime through education, in addition to working with victims, WLTX-TV reported.

The kinds of identity theft the unit will focus on will not be limited to any single type - whether they are residents who have their credit card accounts hacked, smartphones stolen or bank accounts compromised, the unit will be prepared to provide assistance, according to the news source.

"We're going to provide education and outreach to consumers across South Carolina about what identity theft is, the steps that consumers can take to protect themselves, and then what they need to know if they're the victim of identity theft," Marti Phillips, director of the ID theft prevention unit, told WLTX-TV.

According to Carri Grube Lybarker, administrator of the state Department of Consumer Affairs, this effort is especially important in light of the fact that the top complaints the Federal Trade Commission received last year were in regards to identity theft, the news source explained.

In addition to forming a new government unit, the state is also partnering with an identity theft protection company to keep taxpayers' personal information safe, WSAV-3 reported. The company, CSIdentity Corporation, will work with residents whose information was stolen last year by a group of hackers.