Consumer Advocates Warn: Don’t Abbreviate 2020

Some scams are complicated. This one is not.

Luckily, the solution is equally simple: don’t abbreviate 2020.

The reason? Scammers could easily alter a date reading 1/1/20 to read 1/1/2000, 1/1/2021, or even 1/1/2099.

Ira Rheingold, the executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, says scammers could use this method to attempt to cash an old check or establish an unpaid debt.

“Say you agreed to make payments beginning on 1/15/20. The bad guy could theoretically establish that you began owing your obligation on 1/15/2019, and try to collect additional monies,” Rheingold told USA Today.

“In the future, post-dating could be a problem too. For example, a check dated 1/1/20 could become 1/1/2021 next year, possibly making the uncashed check active again,” Rheingold says.

The solution, again, is simple: write out the full date. Instead of 1/18/20, use 1/18/2020 or January 18, 2020.

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