State computer security breach causes deja vu for couple - - Columbia, South Carolina |

State computer security breach causes deja vu for couple

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Kay Jones recalls being an identity theft victim 13 years ago Kay Jones recalls being an identity theft victim 13 years ago

When Governor Haley and other state officials dropped the Department of Revenue tax hack bombshell last Friday, Kay Jones got a serious case of deja vu.

"It was not a pleasant thought," said Jones. "Oh yes, I've been down this road."

Jones and her husband run a medical clinic in Manning.

If you have a particularly long and sharp memory, you might recall their story. It dates back to the late 1990'swhen we first met with Kay and Dr. George Jones at the offices they call Carolina Family Practice.

In a WIS report from February of 1999,  Mrs. Jones was trying to figure out how someone possibly living in New York has been able to use her husband's name to pile up charges for goods and services totaling more than $100,000.

"We've contacted just about everyone we know to contact and very little help seems to be on the way," said Dr. George Jones back then.

The couple was trying to stop the damage done by a man who'd stolen the doctor's Social Security number by rummaging through their trash two years earlier.

"Ten, fifteen years ago, it wasn't all that unusual to have that information on office documents," said Kay Jones.

Dr. And Mrs. Jones discovered the man later identified as Lashone Singleton had gone to New York where he used their identities to open multiple lines of credit and buy everything under the sun.

"He bought a car," said Jones. "A lot of the convenience checks that you get in the mail with your credit card statements or from any credit company that you just sign and you get a loan, I think he ended up with about $100,000 that way. But he had a Bloomingdale's account and a Macy's account."

The couple spent years trying to stop the spending spree, clear their financial history and help track down the culprit.

Jones said even some law enforcement agencies didn't take ID theft very seriously back then.  She recalled talking to one police agency in New York where an officer told her he couldn't be bothered with her problems because he and his department had murders to solve.

Singleton was eventually caught and served prison time in South Carolina.

Jones said she and the doctor now pay a protection service about $500 a year to prevent any new credit problems.

They've also enrolled in the monitoring program offered by the state following the DOR breach.

She said anyone who hasn't at least signed up for that plan is taking a big risk.

"People are very nonchalant," said Jones. "They don't seem to think this is very important, especially young people.  It will affect you for the rest of your life if you don't fix it right now."

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