2020 just started and billions of people around the world might have their respective New Year resolutions. But that’s not the only aspect to be focused on while we enter this new year. According to some of the top law enforcement officers in the nation, shortening 2020, especially on your legal documents could potentially put you at risk. The reason behind this is because the abbreviation could be easily modified and could work against you in nefarious ways. The two-digit shorter version ’20’ could be expanded to make it appear like any other year in the century. So, instead of writing 07/22/2020, if you ended up writing 07/22/20, you could end up in the zone of the scammers. Hence, the Police department in the state of Maine in the United States has asked the residents to take this seriously especially while dealing with professional or legal paperwork. Having an existing problem in a newer decade seems quite ironic, but unfortunately, it is a reality.

Online fraudsters could use this loophole to do things that could totally work against you. For instance, they could modify the dates by adding digits to make it appear that you are either late on payments or get caught up in some sort of a financial mess. This is a special case that is relevant to the year 2020. If you shorten 2019 to 19, you could only relate it back to the date in the 1900s by adding digits. The same is the case with 2018 as it could be dated back to the 1800s. And if someone is trying to forge a document from 2018 to 1998, it would not appear as genuine due to the two-decade difference. But with 2020, it is a totally different ball game. If you only write 20 instead of 2020, online scammers could add ‘19’ as two digits and make it 2019. This would be extremely difficult to fake as there is the only year of difference.

In recent times, this news has been spreading virally on all social media platforms. People are reposting, re-tweeting and sharing with their friends and family on all the platforms. And while it is key to note that this is just not any other social media status or post, it could protect you from any sort of scams and from any sort of financial loss. Even though there has been some level of criticism around this, the police departments have been extremely vocal about this and are urging the residents to proceed with caution. And they are right in the context as they do handle cases related to all sorts of scams and online troubles on almost a daily basis. Even though they know any date could be easily modified in today’s technological age, they are also stressing on the special case called 2020. Online criminals are always on the hunt to find new ways to scam people on the internet. While the police are doing everything in their power to prevent this, it is also an equal responsibility of the average citizens to perceive it as an important piece of information to consider seriously. Nowhere has the law enforcement stated that it is a piece of legal advice, it is only a precautionary tip to everyone. Someone has indeed rightly pointed out that ‘Prevention is better than care”.