To scammers and fraudsters, the passport is perhaps the most coveted form of identification out there, due to its widespread acceptance. Because they’re so valuable to scammers, you must be aware of the dangers of your passport/passport number falling into the wrong hands. Keep on reading for all the essential info.
What can scammers do with your passport number?
Fortunately, if a criminal were to get their hands on just your passport number, it’s not as bad as if they were to have your physical passport. Whereas your passport could be used by a criminal in a number of ways (potentially entering a foreign country under your name, for example), your passport number alone isn’t as valuable to them.
However, combined with other personal information such as your name, address, and your photo (which could most likely be found online without too much difficulty), a criminal could do a lot of unlawful things. For example, with your passport number and enough other personal info, a criminal could gain access to your online accounts or target you and/or your loved ones with sophisticated and deceptive scams.
If a criminal were to get their hands on your passport number in the form of a scanned copy of your passport it could be a lot worse because it also has your full name, DoB, and your legit passport photo. It could be used in sophisticated scams or even to create convincing copies of your passport.
How do scammers get your passport number?
There are many ways that a criminal could get ahold of your passport number. Below are some of them:
- Data breaches. Every company is vulnerable to data breaches, and any that you’ve ever shared your passport number with is at risk of potentially compromising your passport number if it were to suffer a data breach.
- Phishing scams/websites. Unfortunately, phishing scams are everywhere online. When it comes to phishing scams that could potentially trick you into inadvertently parting with your passport number, you’ll want to watch out for travel scams such as fake travel agent websites.
- Lost/stolen/discarded passports. If you use your passport as proof of ID when out and about, make sure to keep it safe. Also, once your passport expires, ensure that it is properly disposed of.
How to keep an eye on your passport number (and other PII)
One of the big concerns many people have is their personal info getting leaked onto the dark web — where it could be accessed by any number of criminals — and not knowing about it. However, with Trend Micro ID Protection, this no longer needs to be a worry.
ID Protection can scan the dark web and underground hacker forums for lots of your personal data (passport number, SSN, driver license, and more!) around the clock. If any of it is ever leaked, you’ll be promptly alerted so you can take the appropriate action. Plus, you can use it today for FREE! So, what are you waiting for? Click the button below!
If you’ve found this article an interesting and/or helpful read, please SHARE it with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected. Also, please consider clicking the LIKE button below.
You Might Also Be Interested In...
Get all the latest cybersecurity news