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Fraud Alert

26 May 2023

Clock Blog Reading time

10 min

Fraud Alert

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Information we will not request from you

At FirstBank, we will NEVER call you or send you a direct message through social media or email to request personal information, such as:


  • Your username and/or password.

  • Your PIN number, bank password, Digital Banking verification code, or your debit or credit card security code.

  • We will never ask you to send us an email or text message with your personal or banking information.

  • We will never ask you to send your debit or credit cards by mail to the Bank or to any local or international law enforcement agency.

  • We do not send emails with links to a webpage that asks you to enter your login credentials into Your Digital Banking.

  • We will never ask you to make a test transaction online.

  • We will never provide banking services through mobile apps other than the Bank's official apps.

Don’t fall for all tales!

Types of fraud

ATH Móvil Fraud

  • If you get a call requesting personal information from someone claiming to be part of the ATH Móvil call center, ignore it and report it as fraud.

  • We will never request personal information or any other sensitive information through calls, text messages, social media, or direct messages.

  • In fraud attempts, you may be asked to provide personal information, such as passwords, telephone numbers, account details, financial details, and other sensitive information.

  • Only access ATH Móvil on your personal devices through mobile apps for iOS and Android.

  • Never provide your ATH Móvil verification codes to anyone or through a webpage.

  • Never trust messages or calls saying you won a prize.

  • Don't answer calls from unfamiliar telephone numbers. Criminals typically use area codes such as 866, 877, and 888.

Telephone Fraud

Through this new scam method, scammers make phone calls that seem urgent or very attractive, and they may pose as bank staff to request personal information from you or to get you to do something.


Watch out for the most common practices:


  • Scammers will typically call you and play a voice recording asking you to dial a number to continue.

  • They will mention that you have won a grand prize in a contest or raffle for which you did not enter.

  • They will say they are calling on behalf of a government agency and ask you to provide them your personal information so they can help you avoid negative consequences or for you to receive some type of economic stimulus or benefit.

  • They will say that a credit repair company is requesting your credit card information to help you improve your score.

  • They will pretend to be a non-profit entity asking for money for an alleged charity.


Scammers will try to obtain confidential information by email, social media, text messages, and other digital channels that seem legitimate. These messages usually require you to take some kind of urgent action and ask you to click on a link to view your accounts or access Digital Banking. If you want to review your accounts, use the official FirstBank app or go directly to Digital Banking.


Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a small, targeted, email-driven attack on a particular person or organization, with the goal of breaking through their defenses. The spear phishing attack is done once the target has been studied, and it has a specific customized component designed to make the target do something against their own interests.


Phishing vs Spear Phishing

Phishing emails are sent to a large number of recipients, somewhat randomly, with the expectation that only a small percentage will respond. Spear phishing emails are carefully crafted for a single recipient to respond. Scammers select an individual target within an organization.


Remember, if you are asked to respond with personal information or by clicking a link to update information, it is fraud. Visit the Tips section to learn other ways to identify and protect yourself from fraud.


How to avoid these attacks:


  • Educate yourself on the topic and learn the difference and purpose of each one.

  • Stay up to date with the latest modalities.

  • Double check and make sure it comes from trustworthy sources.

  • Never provide sensitive or personal information.



Vishing is a phishing attack done over the phone, usually targeted at Voice over IP (VoIP) users, such as Skype users. Vishing is the telephone equivalent of a phishing attack. There are two forms of vishing: human and automated.


In the human example, the scammer takes advantage of the anonymity of a phone call and pretends to be a representative of the target's bank or credit card company. The scammer manipulates the victim to get them to enter their PIN, credit card number, or bank account number (and routing number) using the telephone keypad. This allows the scammer to gain instant access to another person's bank credentials. Recent examples include the stealing of credentials through phone calls to commit fraud involving ATH Móvil.



Smishing is a form of phishing where someone tries to obtain private information through a text message or SMS.


  • Don't tap links you receive through text messages

  • Do not open files that you receive via text messages

  • Make sure the message is legitimate and that it comes from a legitimate entity


Remember that we will never ask you for your information via SMS text messages.



There is a new type of scam called spoofing, where you receive a masked call from a number that seems legitimate but is actually a FAKE number. If you answer the call, the scammers use a fraudulent script to ask for your personal information so they can steal your identity and money.


Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when the scammer uses another person's identity—including their name, Social Security number, or credit or debit card number—without permission to commit fraud and other crimes. The scammer may also pretend to be a family member or a friend and ask you to transfer money or provide information about your deposit accounts.


It is always a good idea to check your credit reports frequently to make sure there is no suspicious activity.



You should be suspicious if you receive a message with a link to a prize, asking for personal information, or with spelling mistakes. Never give out financial information, such as account numbers, your Social Security number, PIN numbers, or any other information that may be useful to scammers via WhatsApp.

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Financial exploitation of elderly or disabled persons

In many cases, elderly or disabled persons are scammed by a family member or acquaintance. They may also be scammed by their caregivers or by trusted individuals hired to provide some kind of service.


Be on the alert if an elderly or disabled person you know exhibits the following behaviors:


  • Appears to be stunned, nervous, or fearful

  • Goes to the bank with a person who:

  • Will not allow them to speak directly with bank staff

  • Encourages or forces them to make a withdrawal, transfer money, take out a loan, or carry out any other transaction, regardless of whether that person is a family member or a stranger

  • Appears too interested in their financial statements

  • Does not remember certain financial transactions in their account, alleges that they did not authorize any transactions, or seems concerned or confused about their account balances

  • Offers contradictory or questionable explanations to justify financial transactions

  • Is afraid to be evicted or held in an institution if they do not give money to the person in charge of their care

  • Has a physical appearance that shows they are obviously not receiving the appropriate care for their needs or in keeping with their financial status

  • Changes their withdrawal patterns or amounts

  • Frequently switches accounts from one branch to another

Tips to reduce the risk of fraud

  • Create strong passwords that combine lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Remember not to use the same password for different accounts and do not share your password with anyone.

  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi, as the network may not be legitimate and secure. When connecting to a public network, your data is visible, and scammers can collect your information.

  • Surf the Internet securely by verifying that there is a padlock symbol in the upper left-hand corner of the page and that the web address starts with the following: https://

  • Protect your information on social media by setting up your profiles to restrict third parties from collecting information about you.

  • When you get a legitimate notification to update your mobile phone's operating system, do so. This process helps to address security vulnerabilities and improves device performance.


FirstLine Solutions Center

Report any suspicious activity to one of our representatives by calling (787) 725-2511 or 1-866-695-2511.


Fraud Alerts: We automatically alert you when suspicious transactions are detected on your Visa or Mastercard logo debit and credit cards.


Chip Technology: Our Visa or Mastercard logo debit and credit cards feature microchip technology that reduces credit card fraud.


Ombudsman for the Elderly

Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Protection and Defense


Main Office: (787) 721-2121
Region I: (787) 919-7930
Ponce: (787) 841-1180 / (787) 841-1180
Guayama: (787) 592-7020 / (787) 592-7021
Mayagüez: (787) 986-7108


Street Address:
Ponce de León Avenue
Building 1064 – Third Floor
Bus stop 16 (above the Marshalls Building)
San Juan, PR 00919-1179


Mailing Address:
PO Box 191179
San Juan, PR 00919-1179


Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities (DPI)

Central Office: (787) 725-2333

Street Address:
Roberto Sánchez Vilella Government Center (Minillas)
South Tower, Floor 2, Suite 203
De Diego Avenue
San Juan, PR 00912


ADFAN, Administration for Families and Children

Central Office: (787) 625-4900

Street Address:
Roosevelt Plaza Building
185 Roosevelt Avenue
Hato Rey, PR 00918


Call us if you detect any fraudulent activity!


Call us: 1-787-725-2511

Follow us:

Instagram @firstbank_pr

Visit us:

The contents in this section are provided for informational and educational purposes only and do not apply to all types of situations. The contents should not be construed as any type of advice or suggestion to take (or refrain from taking) any particular action, as it does not include or take into account all factors that may be relevant to your individual needs.