The year 2020 poses a special problem that can make it easy for scammers to forge handwritten documents. This happens once in a century, the last time in the year 1919. It’s common practice to shorten the year when writing down a date. This year, however, could cause some legal issues and can leave you at risk of fraud.

When abbreviating the year when handwriting a date, that date could easily be changed to any year in this century by just appending two digits, e.g. changing 20 to 2019 or 2021. This would also be possible at any time in the future.

So, for example, one could backdate due payments to start one year earlier, change the date of the last will to make it look outdated or the last one, or date forward to make an uncashed check valid again.

Of course, though it’s early in the year for any examples of this kind of fraud to emerge, the solution is obviously easy: just write out the full date.