NAPERVILLE, Ill. (2/20/08)--Internet scammers, or phishers, are getting more sophisticated in their fraud attempts as evidenced by activity in the Quad Cities region, according to an area credit union and the Illinois Credit Union League. In the past few weeks, members of the $590 million asset, Moline, Ill.-based IH Mississippi Valley in the Quad City region--Davenport, Iowa; Bettendorf, Iowa; Moline/East Moline, Ill., and Rock Island, Ill.--have been targeted by scams originating in Korea (Quad Cities Times Feb. 18). Credit union members and staff were quick to alert each other in each instance of a scam, said Laura Ernzen, IH Mississippi vice president of marketing. One scam told members that the credit union had suspended their accounts, while another attempted to acquire members’ debit card numbers by asking for confidential information in return for an offer of $50 to $80 to take an online survey, Ernzen said. Generally, there is a five-to-10-day period when a specific financial institution might be targeted, with scammers flooding the area financial institutions, she said. If one fake website gets shut down, the scammer might resort to a phone version of the same scam, Ernzen added. Illinois has 455 credit unions serving more than 2.7 million members, said William Willie, public relations coordinator for the Illinois Credit Union League. The scams are getting more sophisticated and more frequent, he added. Member credit unions can help identify the guilty parties when they become the target of an Internet scam. The Illinois league’s information technology department usually can determine where the bogus e-mail is being hosted, Willie said. However, by the time the league finds the scammers, they usually have moved to another host site to continue sending out additional e-mails, he added.