The dawn of this new decade means it’s easier for scammers to forge documents.

But, you can protect yourself against fraud with one easy New Year’s resolution: stop shortening your dates.

When 2020 is abbreviated on official forms and documents, people looking to exploit others could easily manipulate the numbers, leaving you more vulnerable to fraud. For example, 01/05/20 can be replaced for 01/05/2021.

Directors at Keep it Simple Finance (KIS) have shared some examples of what to look out for.



Stale cheques, or cheques written over six months ago, are particularly easy to manipulate for false capital gain. If you have an old cheque lying around that is dated 10/01/20 and someone finds it, those committing fraud can add ’21 at the end and, voila, the cheque is no longer stale and your money goes into their pocket.



Be particularly careful with credit contracts and written agreements between borrowers and lenders. If you have signed one of these with an abbreviated date, your lender, in theory, could add ’19 to the end of that date and argue that you owe more than a year’s worth of payments.

It might seem obvious to sign and date documents with DD/MM/YYYY — and it’s true that if a scammer really wanted to do damage, they might find a way to change any date — but it is the ability to alter the date by just a year or two that makes fraudulence particularly difficult to detect in this new decade.

Find out more at KIS Finance (hyperlink, where qualified experts are always on hand to help you with financial and loans advice.

Do you have financial worries or budgeting questions? We have all the information you need here at Platinum. See our Finance section for more details.