The year 2020 is providing scammers with an easy way to forge documents. However, there is an easy fix to protect consumers: don’t abbreviate the year.
The National Association of Consumer Advocates urges people to write out “2020” as opposed to the abbreviation. Otherwise, it is easy for scammers to manipulate forms, checks and legal documents. For example, when a check is dated 1/13/20, someone could easily add “21” to the end of the year, so the check is dated 1/13/2021. A scammer can then attempt to cash that same check again next year.
Scammers can also make it look like a contract was signed the year prior, when it was signed this year, by adding “19” to the year to change the date on the contract from 1/13/20 to 1/13/2019.
Fortunately, this is a scam that is easy to prevent. When signing important documents this year, take the time to write out the entire year; this makes the date much harder to manipulate.