Marriott recently joined the ranks of large companies dealing with major security breaches. And as with several similar breaches, Mariott’s disclosure comes long after hackers made their way into systems.
Marriott recently announced that hackers stole information on as many as 327 million people. Hackers had access to the hotel chain’s database for four years. The fact that customers have been alerted to the incident after so much time only adds to potential victims’ anxiety. For good reason: They want to know whether their compromised information will lead to identity theft.
Marriott’s announcement indicated that the hackers’ haul included passport information. Passports alone aren’t enough to steal an identity, but they can be extremely useful to identity thieves. Especially when used in concert with other personal data.
How can passports be used for identity theft?
Criminals sometimes use passport details to open bank accounts in someone else’s name, leading to fraudulent accounts and loans that can damage credit scores. They also can aggregate passport data with other details for sale to other criminals on the dark web.
Fortunately, if you are concerned that your passport may have been compromised in the Marriott breach, there are several steps you can take.
First, make sure your passport was, in fact, breached. Marriott is sending out notices to those whose information was compromised. Also, ask yourself whether you traveled internationally within the past few years. If the answer is no, you may not need to worry that your passport was on file. (If you have traveled overseas, you can have a new passport issued.)
Watch out for scams connected to the data breach, too. If you receive a notification, log in to the company’s website directly rather than opening links directly from your email. Fraudsters may attempt to take advantage of the situation to steal additional details in this way.
Lunarline can’t protect your passport information from the Marriott hackers, but we can help companies protect such information. For more info on how we can help, contact us today.