Avoiding Scams in the Digital Age

Today’s digital world is full of contradictions. We can communicate with loved ones better than ever before but never actually see them in person. We can make medical appointments and get prescribed medication without ever leaving home. Much of this new world is wonderful. Directions, payments, digital contracts, and even attending school have all been made convenient.  While the convenience of the digital age is wonderful, it also makes individuals much more susceptible to fraud and scams. With a few helpful tips and apps, this kind of frustration can be avoided. 


Telephone Scams

Recently, technology has made phone call scams easy realities for offenders. Robocalls and messages prey on the fears of individuals by pretending to be the IRS or Social Securities Administration. Immediately, people return the phone call and provide the necessary, aka sensitive information, to solve the alleged problem. From there, any number of identity frauds can be made. Similar scams have occurred with offenders pretending to be online companies, like Amazon, and claiming to need credit card information to unfreeze the account. Once again, people immediately turn it over and are victims of theft or fraud. 


To avoid such scams, Google it. You can start by Googling the phone number. Many sites provide information about safe and dangerous callers or would at least confirm the legitimacy of who they claim they are. If that doesn’t provide enough detail, search for the specific scam. Chances are, you’re not the only person experiencing such phone calls and those institutions have put out some sort of disclaimer to warn patrons. 


Text Scams

Text messaging has been the saving grace for introverts and front desk employees that were once responsible for reminder phone calls. You can receive receipts from small businesses, confirm appointments, confirm delivery, communicate with drivers, and even receive vaccination check-ins all through text messages. Of course, where there is good, there is evil. Scammers can send deceiving messages with clickable links that can ultimately steal personal information. 

To avoid such scams, there are a few helpful steps you can take to protect yourself. First off, save important or recurring phone numbers of businesses so you’re never caught off guard. If you know you’ll be receiving a text or phone call reminder from Northwest Surgery Center, save that information so you’re confident when answering a previously unknown number.  


Shopping Scams

With services like Amazon and Etsy, online shopping has become such an easy convenience for many people. You can order exactly what you want and have it delivered to your front door. While this is lovely, shoppers can also be victims of scams from dangerous sellers. 

A few precautions to take when shopping online is to always check reviews. If a company has many positive reviews and transactions, chances are, it’s legit. 


There’s no doubt about it, many conveniences of the digital age outweigh the potential risks. Much of society is moving in the digital direction so taking the little steps for extra security is a great habit to form. While we’re at it, change your password, no pet names allowed.