Fraud is nothing new. In today’s world, we are used to guarding against phone scams, email hackers, and online credit card and identity theft. But as we enter a new decade, fraud experts are advising against a new danger—abbreviating the date.
It sounds harmless, but when the year 2020 is abbreviated on official forms and documents—by writing 2/4/20 instead of 2/4/2020, for example—it leaves an opening for scammers to manipulate the numbers to make it look like a document was signed in a prior or future year.
This could lead to fraudulent activity in several instances, but two of the more prevalent examples seem to be in terms of checks and legal contracts.
Example 1: Checks
Let’s say you wrote a check in January of 2020 and signed it 1/10/20. If someone were to find that check and add “22” to the end of that date—making it 1/10/2022—they could essentially make that old check active again and attempt to cash it.
Example 2: Legal Contracts
If you entered into a contract in January of 2020 and signed it 1/10/20, the other party could potentially add “10” to the end of that date—making it 1/10/2010—and try to claim ten years of back payments or services.
Luckily, this type of fraud is easy to avoid—simply write out the date, including the year, in its entirety, especially on checks and legal documents.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below, or feel free to contact me directly, I’m happy to help!