It’s one of the first things you learned to write in Kindergarten. At a young age you were taught to memorize this formula and have been filling in its blanks every day since then. 

What is it?

It’s the date – mm/dd/yy.

But in 2020, we’re suggesting a change, or rather addition, to this formula. 


This year, you’ll naturally be inclined to just write “20” as the year portion of the date. However, this date can easily be manipulated by simply adding another number such as, “19” or “21,” to the end of the year. 

This could pose several problems. 

For example, if you had a stale check dated six months in the past with the year “20”, someone could easily add “21” to the end of the year. The check is now no longer stale and is yet again suitable to cash.  

Postdating is not the only issue. For instance, say you signed a contract with someone dated with the year “20” and missed a few agreed upon payments to them. The person with whom you have the agreement with could falsely alter the date on the contract to read “2019” by adding “19” to the end of the year, which would suggest that you owed several additional months’ worth of payments. 

As you can see, two small numbers can cause quite the issue!

The Lesson

Do not shorthand the year “2020” by only writing “20.” Remind yourself to write out the year in it’s entirety – “2020.” 

Even if the above examples may initially seem minor make no mistake, this is no minor issue – scammers are constantly inventing new ways to take advantage of unsuspecting people. So if all it takes is writing out “2020” on all of your dates to avoid a potential scam, why not do it?

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