Why you shouldn’t abbreviate 2020 on checks and legal documents

An Ohio auditor issued a warning with the new year: don’t abbreviate 2020.

“When writing the date in 2020, write the year in its entirety,” read a tweet from Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes. “It could possibly protect you and prevent legal issues on paperwork.”

If you abbreviate 2020 to just 20, someone could add on to the abbreviation.

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“Example: If you just write 1/1/20, one could easily change it to 1/1/2017 (for instance) and now your signature is on an incorrect document,” Rhodes said.

The abbreviation could also cause issues in the future. If an uncashed check has the date 01/01/20 someone could change the date to 01/01/2021 and cash the check when you don’t have the money in your account.

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“It's something that happens all of the time,” said John North, CEO and president of the Better Business Bureau in Dayton and the Miami Valley. “That's why it's so important for you to protect your information, fill out all of your documents completely, monitor your accounts to make sure there isn't anything you didn't expect to be on those and make sure there's no fraudulent activity.”

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