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Some law enforcement and fraud specialists are advising organizations to avoid using "20" as an abbreviated form of "2020" when dating documents. The reason for this caution is that "20" can be easily changed to another year, such as "2019", by simply adding numbers to the end.

Some have pointed out that using "19" for "2019" (which many of us did last year) created no less exposure to fraud, since that abbreviation also could have altered to earlier years such as 1999 or 1998.

However, there is a far greater likelihood that a thief would want to backdate a document one or two years (from 2020 to 2019 or 2018) rather than two decades (from 2019 to 1999 or 1998), and the slighter change also has a greater likelihood of going undetected.

Writing out the entire 2020 when dating documents will remove this opportunity for easy alteration.

Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 2/7/2020

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