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Abbreviating 2020 Leaves You Open to Scams

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  • Tip Bones

Picture this: you sign a mortgage contract, and write 1/4/20 as the date next to your signature. A few months go by, and times get tough. Maybe you lose your job, your relationship, or your roommate, but regardless, you miss a few payments. No big deal -- you've got plans to catch up! But then you receive a notice in the mail that you're overdue on over a year's worth of payments! What in the world happened?

You've fallen victim to one of of many potential scams that may become popular until the year 2100. A dishonest company, or a straight up scammer, can take advantage of the abbreviation you've written as a kind of blank check: they can write whatever they like after that '20.' In this case, the mortgage company probably added a '19' to the end of your year abbreviation, and because it's next to your signature, it looks like you agreed to the contract much earlier. You can fight these kind of scams in court, but why fight when you can stop the problem in its tracks?

The best way to combat the problem is by writing the full year. Yes, that's a few keystrokes or a couple of pen flourishes more, but it's worth it to protect your privacy. And with the growing amount of scam calls and phishing emails, I wouldn't wonder if the people on the other end of a con take advantage of what's a very easy trick to exploit.

Photo: Pixabay