What’s the truth about writing out 2020 in full?

What's the truth about writing out 2020 in full?

Shortly after the new year and decade began, a warning went out over social media about the year 2020. The warning was that if you make out any checks this year, do not abbreviate the year by simply using 20 as your year designation. For example, in standard American date abbreviation, today is 1/6/20. The wisdom behind this warning is that someone could use the abbreviated year format and alter it to look like another year. A bad actor could potentially turn 20 into anything from 2000 to 2021 or even beyond. Since social media isn’t always the best source for news, is this really a danger?

Those who warn against abbreviating the year say that if a check is altered to a year in the past, it could appear as if you’ve had an ongoing debt since that time. If the check is altered to a date in the future, uncashed checks that have expired can be made active again. They also recommend that you should write the date out in full such as January 6, 2020, to prevent any kind of date tampering with legal documents. While this all can sound menacing, what are the odds of something like this happening to you?

According to the internet investigators at Snopes.com, it’s unlikely that anything will happen if you forget to put the full date on a check or legal document. Snopes notes that there are many other forms of check alteration that are more likely to occur that are more lucrative for bad actors. Not only that but there are many ways to prove the alteration of the check took place so you could protect yourself against legal ramifications that could come from an altered check. However, it doesn’t hurt to write out the date in the full as it’s easier to do to prevent any potential problems than trying to fix them after a check has been altered.