State credit monitoring service may not be watching certain acco - - Columbia, South Carolina |

State credit monitoring service may not be watching certain accounts

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Holiday shopping has likely given everyone's credit and debit cards a workout, but the protection you thought you had with every swipe if you signed up for the state's new credit monitoring service, CSID, doesn't extend to existing accounts.

"You have the option to give additional information to CSID and that could include the credit card numbers, email accounts, email addresses to monitor," said Juliana Harris with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

During the basic sign up, unless you took the extra steps online or over the phone, giving them your account number, then the service is only watching for new accounts created in your name by thieves.

"It could be a new account, opened in your name, so it would be a credit card or a loan," said Harris. "They're also doing a criminal background check type of thing where they will notice if there's a judgement or charge in your name."

Only you can weight the pros and cons of giving your existing account information to a third party.

"The more people who have your information, the more chance you have of having it compromised," said Harris.

But if you chose not to hand it over, then you're on the hook for ensuring those accounts don't fall victim to fraudulent charges.

"If you feel like you can monitor your financial statements and you can keep a close eye it, then it might be better for you to just do that," said Harris.

Consumer Affairs says there are some simple protections most consumers can put on bank accounts or credit and debit cards.

"You can also set up and customize alerts. If you charge more than $50.00, you get a text or an email or if your balance goes below or above a certain amount then you get a text or an email or a phone call," said Harris.

These alerts could be especially helpful in the wake of compromised credit and debit cards at Target. 

"It's just a sign of the times, as technology develops so do criminals," said Harris. "Like I sai, technology makes it a lot easier for us, but it will also make it easier for the criminals for the scammers to get a hold of our information."

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