#datingscams | While not terribly likely, abbreviating dates in 2020 could lead to fraud – The Fort Morgan Times

With the New Year brings a new risk for fraud and scamming.

Most years, using an abbreviated date is not as risky as in 2020. Writing ’20 at the end of a date opens the possibility of scammers to write in an alternate year to documents.

Concern over the dating of documents spread after a Facebook post from the East Millinocket Police Department in Maine encouraged people not to abbreviate 2020 went viral.

“March 3, 2020 being written as 3/3/20 could be modified to 3/3/2017 or 3/3/2018. Protect yourself. Do not abbreviate 2020,” the post, originally created by George E. Moore Law Office, LLC, said.

Though sound advice, few problems have occurred regarding the altering of dates, according to those who work in finance in Morgan County.

“I wouldn’t say this would point to an easy target. They’d still have to have your account number and routing number,” Cameron Armagost, branch president of Bank of Colorado in Fort Morgan, said.

There hasn’t been a confirmed case of this specific type of fraud happening yet. A lot of finance has moved online and away from physically alterable documents. Some experts think there are more pressing scams to look out for.

“This wouldn’t be in the top five fraudulent scams out there,” Armagost said.

Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, pointed to robocalls, account hacking and mail scams as more potentially dangerous scams.

Armagost said a lot of fraud could be avoided if individuals monitored the activity on their account.

“People transitioned from check registers, that used to be much more important in managing your balance, and they’ve resorted to looking at their own banking digitally,” Armagost said. “People need to verify what’s going through their account more often and more regularly.”

Banks do have checks and balances in place to report suspicious account activity, but it isn’t perfect, and with the amount of fraud some things pass through the cracks. Armagost added that although altering dates wasn’t the most likely scam, it wouldn’t hurt to write out 2020 on checks and receipts.

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