Officials with Minneapolis-based MoneyGram Global Payment Services report that someone gained illegal access to one of their servers through the Internet last month.
The computer contained personal information for 79,000 people around the country who use MoneyGram to pay bills electronically. Company officials say they don't know how many of those customers are located in Minnesota.
The company says it's also not clear if any of the information -- which includes customer names, phone numbers and some bank account numbers -- was actually stolen. No Social Security or driver's license numbers were accessed.
Company spokeswoman Cathy Rebuffoni says the incident came as a surprise, because she says the company uses sophisticated computer security measures.
"We really do strive to protect customer information. We have multi-levels of security and precautions around it to protect it," says Rebuffoni. "This was an isolated incident."
Rebuffoni says MoneyGram is notifiying customers by mail, and offering them a free subscription to a credit monitoring service.
"We don't think any information was accessed -- that was actually viewed or taken -- but this is definitely a precaution that we're urging consumers to take advantage of, just to be safe."
Customers can use the credit monitoring service to see if any unauthorized accounts are set up in their name.