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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - State leaders ultimately choose the credit protection company Experian to protect South Carolinians after the data breach at the SC Department of Revenue--but not before looking at two other companies first.

In a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Revenue, News19 has learned state leaders used the law firm Nelson Mullins to provide pricing on the credit vendors Citreas and Identity Force before deciding on Experian.

Ultimately, they say they chose Experian because they were the company who could handle the nature and size of the breach and give the cheapest price.

In an email to News19, Department of Revenue Spokesperson Samantha Cheek said:

"This judgment has been proven accurate through Experian's unique willingness to accept a $12 million fee cap and offer free business services, their combination of credit monitoring, which is particularly well-suited to social security numbers, and fraud resolution services, and the fact that the insurance policy included in the product covers not only identity theft but fraudulent electronic fund transfers, mitigating potential bank account exposure."

Governor Nikki Haley is said to have negotiated the $12 million dollar flat fee.

News19 has also learned that the Department of Revenue only released the last four digits of tax payers Social Security numbers to the company Experian.

Currently, the investigation is still ongoing on the specific identities affected. The company Mandiant is continuing to analyze the data that was compromised.

At this time, the state is "utilizing resources in order to notify South Carolina taxpayers who may have been impacted."

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