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3 Million South Carolina Consumers Impacted by Security Breaches in 2023

Tue, 04/02/2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The number of South Carolina consumers impacted by security breaches more than tripled over the past year. During 2023, 139 businesses reported breaches to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA). Those breaches affected 3,259,740 South Carolina consumers. That’s a dramatic climb compared to 2022 when 86 businesses reported breaches to SCDCA, affecting 976,427 consumers.

During 2023, financial businesses reported the most breaches (62), impacting 1,534,256 consumers. The health industry was the second largest reporting category (32), with 710,009 consumers impacted. Hospitality businesses reported far fewer breaches (5), but those breaches impacted 778,891 South Carolina consumers.

A business must let South Carolina residents know when their personal information is breached. When the breach affects more than 1,000 residents, the business must give the Department a copy of the notice sent to those residents. Notices received by SCDCA are posted on the Department’s website.

SCDCA encourages consumers that receive a security breach notice to take these steps:

  • Protect impacted accounts by changing your password right away and turning on multi-factor authentication. Passwords should be unique to each account and at least 16 characters long with mixed-case letters, numbers and symbols. Using multi-factor authentication will add an extra step (like a text message code or facial recognition) to your login process, making it more secure.
  • Closely monitor your credit report and financial statements/accounts. Check all monthly statements and account activity or unauthorized purchases/accounts and suspicious items. You can obtain your FREE credit reports by visiting or calling (877) 322-8228.
  • Consider a fraud alert and security freeze. When you have a fraud alert on your credit report, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit or services in your name. This makes it harder for a thief to open new accounts in your name. A security freeze stops anyone from opening new accounts using your information, until you lift the freeze. Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place an alert and contact each of them to place a freeze: Equifax (800) 685-1111, Experian (888) 397-3742 and TransUnion (888) 909-8872.

For additional tips on  how to protect your information in the wake of a breach, check out these tips on how to avoid identity theft or contact SCDCA's Identity Theft Unit at 800-922-1594. The Unit is dedicated to offering consumers tailored guidance on identity theft issues. 


Established in 1974, DCA has nearly fifty years of experience in protecting South Carolina consumers while recognizing those businesses that act honestly and fairly. Cultivating a marketplace comprised of well-informed consumers and businesses prevents deceptive and unfair business practices, allows legitimate business activity to flourish, resulting in the promotion of competition and a healthier economy.