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How to Protect Yourself from Online Fraud

The increased sophistication and rapid growth of online fraud continues to be a challenge. These scams appear in many forms, especially fraudulent emails and Web site, spyware and viruses, and pop-up advertisements.

Fraudulent Emails and Websites

This particular type of fraud occurs when someone poses as a legitimate company to obtain personal data, such as account numbers, and then makes transactions with this information illegally. A common form of this scam is called “phishing”. Phishing refers to cyber-criminals who attempt to gather sensitive personal information from consumers through emails and/or through imitations of legitimate Web sites.

To combat phishing, please remember that United Bank will never ask for sensitive information from you via e-mail (ex. Social security number, access ID, passcode or account number, or ATM/debit card number and PIN).  Also, any email notification that you receive from United Bank will not contain a "Click here" link.  This will help you identify between a legitimate email from us and a phishing email from someone attempting to imitate the bank.


Spyware and Viruses

Spyware and viruses are destructive programs loaded on your computer without your permission or knowledge. Spyware appears as a legitimate application on your computer but actually monitors your activity and collects sensitive information.  Viruses are harmful programs spread through the Internet that can compromise the security of your computer. Maintaining up-to-date anti-spyware and virus protection software and firewalls help avoid these risks.

Pop-Up Advertisements

Pop-ups appear in a separate browser window and, when clicked, can download harmful spyware or adware to your computer. While some make legitimate offers, many pop-ups are attempts to obtain your sensitive information. United Bank will never ask you to verify personal financial information in pop-up advertisement.

To protect yourself from unwanted pop ups, activate the pop up blocker on your web browser and only accept pop ups from trusted sites. If your web browser does not have this capability, we strongly suggest you download a newer version.


Telephone Fraud, or "Vishing"
In vishing attempts, criminals send phony emails that ask customers to call a phone number. The phone number may differ from an actual United Bank phone number by only one digit or it may be completely different. Either way the criminals hope to catch you off guard usually by emphasizing urgency in the email text. If the phone number is dialed, callers will either be prompted to enter their sensitive information via the digits on the phone or via voice. The information is collected in order to be used for fraudulent activities.

Please remember that United Bank will never call you and ask for sensitive information (ex. Social security number, access ID, passcode or account number, or ATM/debit card number and PIN). If you receive an e-mail or phone call requesting that you dial a particular number, do not call the number.  Contact United Bank's First Impressions Department  immediately at 1-800-423-7026.

Mobile Device Fraud, or "Smishing"
Smishing is a form of criminal activity using social engineering techniques similar to phishing. As cell phones and PDAs become more technologically advanced, attackers are finding new ways to target victims. By using text messaging or email, an attacker could lure you to a malicious site or convince you to install malicious code on your portable device. As a result, an attacker may be able to accomplish the following: abuse your service, use your device in another illegal attack, or gain access to account information.


Helpful Tips to Protect You

While online banking is safe, as a general rule you should always be careful about giving out your personal financial information over the Internet.  Review the following tips to protect your personal information while using the Internet.

  • Regularly log into your online accounts to verify that your bank, credit, and debit card statements and transactions are legitimate.
  • Set up "Notify Me" alerts in your online banking.
  • Be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent requests for personal financial information.
  • If you receive an unsolicited e-mail from any source asking you to click on a link to visit a site and input personal data, be very wary of it.
  • Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading any files from e-mails, regardless of who sent them.
  • Instead of clicking on links in emails, type in the URL that you're familiar with, such as, or select the Web address saved in your browser’s "Favorites".
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is and should be avoided.
  • If you have any doubts about the validity of an email, contact the sender using a telephone number you know to be genuine.
  • Before you initiate an online transaction, make sure your personal information is protected by looking for indicators that the site is secure. URLs for secure sites typically begin with "https" instead of "http" and display a lock in the lower right corner of your browser.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.
  • Make sure you have applied the latest security patches for your computer.  Most software providers, like Microsoft, offer free security patches.
  • If you have broad-band Internet access, such as cable modem or DSL, make sure that you have a firewall.

We take numerous steps to keep your account information secure. However, you must take precautions as well.

  • Choose a good passcode - Your online passcode, along with your access ID, authenticate your identity when accessing online accounts. You should carefully select a passcode that is difficult to guess and not use personal information or a word that can be found in the dictionary.
  • Keep your passcode safe - Even the best passcode is worthless if it’s written on a note attached to your computer or kept in your checkbook. Memorize your passcode and never tell it to anyone.
  • Change your passcode regularly - It’s important to change your passcode regularly. Every time you choose a new passcode, our online banking system runs a quick program to test its safety. If we can guess it, we will immediately ask you to choose another one.
  • Remember to log off properly - You may not always be at your own computer when banking online. Therefore, it’s important to log off using the “log off” link at the top of each Internet banking page. If you forget to do so, the system automatically signs you off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
For the most current information and alerts from Homeland Security regarding online security click here.  If you need any assistance, you can also contact us at 1-800-423-7026. 



NOTICE: United Bank is not responsible for and has no control over the subject matter, content, information, or graphics of the web sites that have links here. The "Map"  features are being provided by an outside source - The bank is not responsible for the content.
Please contact us at 800-423-7026 with any concerns or comments.

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