Important: Don’t abbreviate 2020, especially in legal documents

Many people are used to abbreviating the year in writing dates. This has long been a popular practice and is done because it is easier and faster to simply write the last two digits of the year than the full four digits.
Important: Don’t abbreviate 2020, especially in legal documents

But warnings are circulating all over the web, telling people not to abbreviate “2020” to just “20” – and it makes sense.

Don’t abbreviate 2020, especially in legal documents

There are various versions to the warning, but everything points to one thing: fraudsters could easily add digits to the end to change the date.

“When writing the date in 2020, write the year in its entirety. It could possibly protect you and prevent legal issues on paperwork. Example: If you just write 1/1/20, one could easily change it to 1/1/2017 (for instance) and now your signature is on an incorrect document,” writes George E. Moore Law Office, LLC.

While that might not seem too bad because the incorrect documents would become expired in some cases, others believe this might end up costing you more money.

“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 $$$,” warns Ira Rheingold, the executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates in the US.

So, based on these documents, you appear to be in default of your payments and might be required to pay some additional fees.

“By only writing 2-0 in an abbreviated form, scammers could tack on a different year, which can lead to all sorts of problems. When dealing with loans, if you agreed to make payments on 1/1/20, someone could change the date to 1/1/2019, and come after you for late fees and additional money. It could also be an issue with checks, for example a check dated 1/1/20 could become 1/1/2021, and cause issues with your account if someone tried to cash it again,” WBWN explained.

Important: Don’t abbreviate 2020, especially in legal documents

While there is no evidence that someone has already tried to defraud somebody with the abbreviation issue, these warnings are simply there for people to follow, if they want to. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry – and it won’t take you too much time to write that addition “20”, anyway.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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