Five Tips for Protecting Yourself from Fraud


Association of Banks of Puerto Rico

An international banker with more than two decades of industry experience, Julio Herrera Velutini oversees banking operations throughout Venezuela. Julio M. Herrera Velutini represents his bank on behalf of the Association of Banks of Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization that offers assistance with commercial banking assets. The organization also provides guidance on fraud and identity theft protection, some of which are covered in the following list.

1. Stay alert at the ATM. Take safety precautions while using the ATM; use well-lit terminals and remain aware of your surroundings. Guard your personal identification number as you enter it and never turn your back on the terminal with your information visible onscreen. Also remember to take your receipt with you.

2. Review financial statements. Carefully review all monthly financial and account statements for suspicious activity and compare them with receipts to help identify discrepancies. You also can request that your bank contact you regarding credit applications that use your name and financial information.

3. Protect personal information. Shred all documents containing personal and financial information before disposing of them. When providing information over the phone or online, remember to check the reliability and reputation of the company beforehand.

4. Beware of phishing scams. Do not give your information to entities asking for your information in order to send you contest prizes or enroll you in special lotteries, or those asking for donations. Legitimate companies will not request information through unsolicited emails. Also avoid clicking on links in any of these emails.

5. Use secure passwords. Do not use obvious or easy-to-guess passwords such as birth dates, phone numbers, or other personal information. Many sites recommend that users select passwords with a minimum of eight characters and a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters when allowed.

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