Don’t Abbreviate “2020” on your Checks or Official Documents, to Guard Against Fraud

Don’t Abbreviate “2020” on your Checks or Official Documents, to Guard Against Fraud

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Getting used to writing a new year on your documents? For 2020, don’t take a shortcut. Writing just “20” on checks or contracts could leave you open for fraud, experts say.

Auditors and lawyers around the country are advising people to write the full year out when writing the date. Instead of “1/1/20,” writing “1/1/2020″ will prevent people from adding numerals to the end, changing the date to “1/1/2019” or “1/1/2021.”

This could lead to falsified debts. “Say you agreed to make payments beginning on 1/15/20. The bad guy could theoretically establish that you began owing your obligation on 1/15/2019, and try to collect additional $$$.”

Fraudsters could also change checks to a future date and collect the money when there isn’t enough in your account. If the date is changed on a contract, criminals could claim the terms began the year before.

The last time the first two digits and the last two digits were the same was 101 years ago, in 1919.

Numerous lawyers, government offices and auditors have given the same advice on social media. Whether or not it’s likely that people will try to commit fraud this year, it can’t hurt to take precautions.

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