At the beginning of this year, I saw many stories in credible publications from consumer advocates, auditors, and police departments around the country. They all say not to abbreviate the year 2020.

You Could Open Yourself to Fraud

Since this could affect your money, I want to share it here. When you write a date on an official form or document this year, don't write the year 2020 as just “20.” Write the year out with all four digits.

For example, if you date a document 1/24/20. It could easily be changed to to a future date of 1/24/2022 by adding two numbers at the end. Or a scammer might back date a contract to 1/24/2017.

Better Safe Than Sorry

It's still early in the year and there's no evidence yet that anyone has been scammed in this way. I asked an attorney if she thinks this is a real risk. She replied that it is difficult to know for sure but the solution is easy enough. And an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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