Here's why you shouldn't abbreviate 2020 on documents

NOW: Here’s why you shouldn’t abbreviate 2020 on documents

MILWAUKEE (CBS News) -- You may want to think twice before abbreviating the date on documents this year. 

Authorities warn shortening 2020 to just 20 makes it easier for scammers to forge important papers. 

For example, a check with the date written 1/3/20 could easily be manipulated by a scammer to read 1/3/2021 -- or any other year from this century. 

The Wisconsin BBB says people across the nation are reaching out to the organization with concerns.

"Let's write out the four digits just to be on the safe side," Wisconsin BBB spokeswoman Lisa Schiller said.

The worry is a scammer could pre-date or post-date a check or documents which could then lead to fraud and other issues for consumers in the future.

"Say you signed an agreement you may not have or a contract you probably shouldn't have, with a somewhat bad guy, and they decide that in fact you may have missed one payment in June," National Association of Consumer Advocates Executive Director Ira Rheingold said. "And they come back and say 'no, you owe a year and a half' because they've now back-dated your contract to 2019 and claim you owe additional months payment." 

The Wisconsin BBB hasn't had any reported cases of the scam yet, but authorities say writing out the full date could save you big in the long run. 

Share this article: