MADISON, Wis. (9/10/08)--Credit unions and banks have seen an increase in the number of fraudulent phone calls, text messages and e-mail phishing scams, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) told the Utica, N.Y. Observer-Dispatch (Sept. 7). Nationwide, phishing is kind of happening in peaks and valleys, but it is prevalent," said Dorothy Steffens, vice president of Web services at CUNA, in an article entitled "Consumer warning: 'Phishing' for your financial information." She noted some periods where phishing is higher, "such as tax time, when there are a lot more fraudulent e-mails trying to get people to click on a link." Scams also begin when college students return to school and use their credit and debit cards, she said. Consumers, when contacted by the scammers, tend to believe they are being contacted by a reliable source and they begin offering their personal data, she added. Phishing has been around for nearly four years, and con artists have moved from e-mail phishing to voice-mail "vishing, Steffens said. She provided tips for consumers to guard their information. To review them, use the resource link.