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Why You Should Write out 2020 on Documents

by Amanda Hicks

Protect your important documents from scammers.

2020 may have marked the beginning of a new decade, but it also brought on a new way for scammers to potentially forge documents. Authorities are warning that anyone abbreviating the year as “20” when dating documents could put themselves at risk of fraud. They recommend writing out the date in full on legal documents and checks to avoid this.

Why not abbreviate?

When you abbreviate 2020 on important documents, scammers could easily turn that “20” into any other year in this century by simply adding two numbers to the end. For example, if you write the date as 1/1/20 on a check, someone could change that to read 1/1/2021, 1/1/2022, etc. That would leave your money vulnerable, and leave the scammer able to attempt to cash your check in that fraudulently marked year.

Unfortunately, this is a problem that has to do specifically with the year 2020, since abbreviating another year, like 2017, as “17” could only be changed to a date in the 1700s.

If you want to avoid this potential issue, all you need to do is write out 2020 wherever you would normally write the abbreviated year.

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