It’s the season for fishing, but it’s not the outdoor sport that has Iowa bankers concerned. Phishing, spelled with a “P-H” like phoning, refers to the sending of thousands of e-mails that look like official forms to be filled out. Ben Hildebrandt with the Iowa Bankers Association says they’re clever fakes.They create e-mails that look like they’re from a familiar business — eBay, AOL, some other internet presence — and they ask for personal, private financial information and when they get it they’re gone with your money, and gone with your identity.” There are simple tips to avoid being hooked by on-line identity crooks. Hildebrandt advises you never respond to any e-mail asking for personal financial information, and notes while your bank might e-mail you some advertising offers, they won’t ask financial info — they have it already. Further, he says if you get any questionable e-mail, don’t click on any link it contains, and call your banker to ask questions. The Federal Trade Commission and other organizations are teaming up to tackle phishing, calling it one of the fastest-growing types of Internet fraud. There are already several websites, including some by the government, to prevent being scammed or recoup your money — the Federal Trade Commission, the FDIC, the Iowa Attorney General’s office, and a site called “Anti-Phishing-dot-org,” which is a busy place. The F-T-C, Better Business Bureaus, Visa and others are asking consumers to report suspicious-looking e-mails and not reply without checking their validity. Banks are targets, of course, because he says “that’s where people put their money,” but since people also transact business using e-mail, and buy and sell on eBay, MSN, AOL-dot-com or other sites on the internet, that’s also where the criminals are looking. People should be more diligent, he says, and if you get something over the internet it’s a good idea to call and check with a real person. Surf to the advocacy site