Happy Tuesday everyone! Something that I am sure you have heard of, unless you are like me and have been living under a rock (seriously though, this was news to me until the other day), is the advice going around about writing out the year in full on everything.

I first got an email at work from my boss stating why we need to write out "2020" and not just "20". I thought it was a bit strange that there would be an email going around the entire building on why we shouldn't write the date as 01/01/20 ... until I read the email in full.

It only takes an extra two seconds to write the extra "20" behind "20" and here's why you want to do just that. Writing out the abbreviated date of 01/01/20 can put you at risk to scammers and dishonest people. Someone can come along and add the other two numbers behind it to create a big mess for you. 

For example:
Let's say that you write a check out to someone for your rent or mortgage. You date the check for today's date of 01/07/20 and give that to them to apply to your account. Let's say that the person you paid goes ahead and deposits that check electronically. Not a big deal right? 

But let's say that this person is dishonest or forgetful and later down the line decides to add the missing information to the year. So now your check went from reading 01/07/20 to 01/07/2021. And now they go and deposit this check again. Now maybe the bank will catch it, but maybe not. And nowadays, not everyone keeps a watchful eye on their bank accounts and doesn't notice a discrepancy until months down the road.

Another example:
Let's use the rent or mortgage example once again. This time you write your rent/mortgage check to your landlord or person responsible for receiving payment. You date the check 01/07/20 and hand over your payment for the month. Now your landlord can come write in the date on the check a previous year such as 2019 and try to claim that you owe extra fees because you failed to pay the current month and only paid that month the previous year.

One more example:
Let's pretend you are signing a rental contract and date it for 01/07/20 and you agree to all the terms and conditions of that year and date. However, someone untrustworthy can easily come in and fill in a different year behind that date now stating you agreed to pay a rental agreement which you signed and is now dated for 01/07/2015, thus making it look as though you breached the contract by not paying or abiding by that in that year.

Of course, these things seem far fetched but they can happen and will happen to someone, somewhere. So it is better to get in the habit of writing out 2020 now while the year is still fresh and new so that it sticks with you and certain scams or legal issues do not fall upon you that could have been avoided.

After 2020 is over, it is safe to go back writing just the last two digits such as "21" as the year without it being written in full.

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