Why You Shouldn’t Abbreviate 2020

January 3, 2020

Security officials are warning consumers to not abbreviate “2020” in official documents because they say it can be an easy way for scammers to commit forgery. They say the abbreviation makes it easy for scammers to change out the numbers on paperwork. For example, if you write a date like “1/3/20,” scammers could change it to “1/3/2000” or 1/3/2021.”

Instead, write out the full year as “1/3/2020” or, better yet, write out the name of the month as well to read "January 3, 2020." It “could possibly protect you and prevent legal issues on paperwork,” Dusty Rhodes, a Hamilton County, Ohio, auditor told the USA Today Network.

Why would scammers want to change a date? They could seek to establish an unpaid debt or to attempt to cash an old check.

Police departments across the country have urged the public to write out the year. "This is very sound advice and should be considered when signing any legal or professional document,” the East Millinocket Police Department in Maine wrote in a Facebook post. “It could potentially save you some trouble down the road.”