A little PSA to you all who like to be cool and abbreviate everything you come across (Read: Every Australian).
Experts in the US have given you fair warning to not shorten the year "2020" to just "20", because it could leave you vulnerable to scammers.
This whole saga originally did the rounds on socials at the very beginning of the year, but then it just went viral.
You may have even come across it yourself, while you were scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
When writing the date in 2020, write the year in its entirety. It could possibly protect you and prevent legal issues on paperwork. Example: If you just write 1/1/20, one could easily change it to 1/1/2017 (for instance) and now your signature is on an incorrect document.— Dusty Rhodes (@AuditorRhodes) 31 December 2019
It all began when Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, emailed USA Today about the potential scam.
To cut a very long email short, if you jot down 17/1/2020 instead of 17/1/20, anyone could change that to 17/1/2018, just by adding two numbers to the end of it and so on and so forth.
Why does this matter?
“Say you agreed to make payments beginning on 15/1/20. The bad guy could theoretically establish that you began owing your obligation on 15/1/2019, and try to collect additional $$$.”
This could really affect paperwork, official documents, cheques etc.
Of course, any document can be tampered with but adding two simple numbers is probably the easier option.
It's worth noting in today’s digital age it is unlikely, but it’s not completely inconceivable.
Naturally, this advice went boonta.
Rheingold reckons it’s turning heads because of how simple and understandable it is.
All the attention is “just an opportunity to warn people that they need to be careful”.
Be careful folks, it's a jungle out there.