The calendar has rolled over to 20202 and the new year has created an opportunity for individuals to be taken advantage of and it all relates to the manner in how you write the year on documents.

Many people will write on a check or other legal documents the date Jan. 4, 2020 in the format as 1/4/20. This provides a scammer with an opportunity as they can now add digits to the end of the year. In this example, the year can be changed to 1/4/2021 or 1/4/2019 (or any other year) just by adding two numbers to the end of the year.

What is the risk? Suppose you wrote a check to someone with the 1/4/20 date and they lose it. You issue another check and they cash it. A year later, the lost check has become stale dated but that person finds the check, They can change the date to 1/4/2021 (by adding the “21” to the end of the date) and now it is no longer stale dated and can be cashed.

Another example would be that you sign a loan agreement with an individual or business. The person or business agrees to loan you the money and you sign the loan document and date it 1/4/20. After a month or so, the loaner alters the date to 1/4/2019 by adding the ‘19’ to the end of the  date and now they can argue that you owe one year’s worth of payments.
The way to protect yourself is easy-write the entire year on any legal document that you sign.