Marriott has promised to pay for new passports for any of the 500 million Starwood customers whose personal information was exposed in a massive data breach. Passport number may have been exposed for 327 million people Marriott revealed last week.
“As it relates to passports and potential fraud, we are setting up a process to work with our guests who believe that they have experienced fraud as a result of their passports being involved in this incident,” a spokesman told MarketWatch.
Security experts say in a worst-case scenario, the passport data breach could create a larger security crisis, allowing malicious actors to create false passports to enter the country or open financial accounts. But the State Department says you don’t really have to worry much. They recommend reporting your U.S. passport lost or stolen if your passport number was compromised. You should only report your U.S. passport lost or stolen if the original, physical version of the passport book or passport card has been lost or stolen. No one can travel internationally using only a U.S. passport number. Travelers must present an original, physical version of a U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card upon entering a foreign country and when returning to the United States from a foreign country.
But consumers should consider freezing their credit as a safety precaution, especially if they don’t believe they have been affected.