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Computer thieves hack another Minnesota company

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If you have accumulated Club Carlson Gold Points through stays and food and beverage purchases at Carlson Rezidor Hotels, stop reading this and go check your points balance.

Unlike the earlier data theft problem that Target and other retailers experienced with customer credit cards, the breach at the Minnetonka-based Carlson hotel company involves its loyalty program.

The Star Tribune reports that computer thieves stole roughly $35,000 in incentive awards from about 650 clients of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. The privately held company sent an e-mail to all of the 12 million Club Carlson members, asking them to monitor recent account transactions. Members were also urged to and change their account passwords.

Rachael Marret, the senior vice president who oversees loyalty programs, told the newspaper that the company learned of the attack about 12 days ago. The tipoff was suspicious activities in Club Carlson accounts, including changes in account passwords and e-mail addresses and conversions of Gold Points to PayPal credits or electronic gift cards. She said that customers who lost Gold Points would have them replaced by the company.

Earlier this week, the Economic Times that the Carlson Rezidor Hotel group plans to have 200 hotels in India by 2020.

"We currently have 66 properties in operation and 42 in the pipeline in India. This year we are planning 12 properties in the country," said group chairperson Diana Nelson. The company employs 13,500 people in India and expects to boost that number by 30 per cent as it opens the additional properties.

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