Account Takeover | Phishing & Spoofing | United Community Bank

Customer Awareness

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Customer Awareness

At United Community Bank we are committed to your security and want to make you aware of an evolving electronic crime.

What is Corporate Account Takeover?

Corporate account takeover is a type of fraud where thieves gain access to a business’ finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable. Corporate account takeover is a growing threat for small businesses. It is important that businesses understand and prepare for this risk.

Cyber thieves target employees through phishing, phone calls, and even social networks. It is common for thieves to send emails posing as a bank, delivery company, court or the Better Business Bureau. Once the email is opened, malware is loaded on the computer which then records login credentials and passcodes and reports them back to the criminals.

How does Corporate Account Takeover Work?

  • Criminals target victims by scams
  • Victim unknowingly installs software by clicking on a link or visiting an infected website
  • Fraudsters begin monitoring the account
  • Victim logs onto their Online Banking
  • Fraudsters collect login credentials
  • Fraudsters hijack the session and send the victim a message that Online Banking is temporarily unavailable

Where does it come from?

  • Malicious websites, including Social Networking sites
  • Email
  • P2P Downloads (e.g. LimeWire)
  • Ads from popular websites

What can a Business do?

  • Provide security awareness training to employees
  • Secure your computer and networks
  • Limit administrative rights and do not allow employees to install any software without receiving prior approval
  • Install and maintain spam filters
  • Surf the internet carefully
  • Install and maintain up-to-date commercial anti-virus and desktop firewall software on all computer systems
  • Utilize routine and "red-flag" reporting for transaction activity
  • Install routers and firewalls to prevent unauthorized access to your computer or network. Change the default passwords on all network devices.
  • Install security updates to operating systems and all applications as they become available
  • Use the latest versions of browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome with pop-up blockers enabled
  • Do not open attachments from e-mail and be on the alert for suspicious emails.
  • Never access bank accounts at internet cafes or from public Wi-Fi hotspots (airports, etc.)
  • Use a dedicated computer for financial transaction activity
  • Initiate ACH and wire transfer payment under dual control (E.g. One person authorizes the creation of the payment file, and the second authorizes the release of the file)
  • Reconcile accounts daily
  • Note any changes in the performance of your computer like dramatic loss of speed, freezing, unexpected rebooting, unusual popups, etc.
  • Make sure that employees know how to report suspicious activity

Contact us immediately at 866.505.3736 if you suspect a fraudulent transaction, are trying to process an Online Wire or ACH Batch and receive a maintenance page or receive an email claiming to be from United Community Bank and it is requesting personal or company information.

As part of our commitment to keeping your account and personal information safe and secure, we've assembled some useful tips for spotting fraudulent email.

  • Links that appear to be United Community Bank links but aren't. If you place your cursor over a link in a suspicious e-mail, your e-mail program most likely shows you the destination URL. Do not click the link, but look closely at the URL. A URL that is formatted is taking you to a location on a fake website. Just because UCBanking is part of the URL does not guarantee that the site is an official United Community Bank site.
  • Request for personal information. UCB emails will never ask you to reply in an e-mail with any personal information such as your Social Security Number, ATM or PIN.
  • Urgent Appeals. We will never claim your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information via e-mail.
  • Messages about system and security updates. We will never claim the need to confirm important information via e-mail due to system upgrades.
  • Offers that sound too good to be true. We will never ask you to fill out a customer service survey in exchange for money and then ask you to provide your account numbers.
  • Obvious typos and other errors. These are often the mark of fraudulent e-mails and websites. Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing and poor visual design.

If you receive a suspicious email that uses United Community Bank's name, forward it to us immediately at

Our Secure Email portal will allow you to send us the sensitive, private information that is sometimes necessary to manage your account or loan. To maintain the confidentiality of private information, we have implemented an email encryption service through Zix Corporation, the leader in email encryption services. This service will help us protect outbound and inbound email containing sensitive information like social security numbers, driver's license numbers and account information. Please use our Secure Email portal when sending this information, not our regular email address.

All email correspondence between you and United Community Bank that contains sensitive information will be encrypted and available to you on ZixPort. You will receive a notification message with instructions to "click here" to open the encrypted email. This button automatically re-directs you to our secure message center.

First-time users of ZixPort will need to go through a simple registration process. Once your account is activated, you may view the message and any attachments over a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection.

It's important for us to note that if you are currently a ZixCorp gateway customer, then all encrypted email messages between our organization and you will be sent securely and delivered unencrypted in your inbox, just like any other email you receive.