Agencies Warn to Write Out 2020 in Full on Documents

There's a risk of scammers taking advantage of those who don't

Tom Puckett
January 06, 2020 - 4:00 am



Buffalo, NY (WBEN) It's a new year, and police agencies around the country are warning you about a potential scam. They say it can be prevented by simply writing out the full year.

Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau says it's a brand new year, so no incidents of fraud associated with this have been reported, but "we always like to get ahead of any scam that may be an issue down the line."

McGovern says a lot of business may be done online, but there are still paper documents and checks that are signed. "Instead of 1/6/20, January 6th, 2020 will protect you from any scammer altering a date putting it in the past or in the future," advises McGovern. "Somebody could hold a check for a long time, realize it's been over a certain period of time and write that extra date. It's a good practice to write out the full date with all of your documents."

Attorney Paul Cambria agrees. "You run the risk of somebody putting extra years to extend contracts, wills or trusts or other negotiable interests. The best way to curtail it is to write it out," says Cambria. "Whether somebody is trying to make an insurance claim or someone trying to negotiate a check, or some other way of extending a contract, there's always somebody trying to figure out a way to do that."

Cambria wonders if there's a way to shut down the scam. "The question is is there a device that can be used to make that impossible, that will make the second two numbers impossible to forge," says Cambria. 

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