The new year is giving scammers an easy way to forge documents, but you can protect yourself with an easy New Year's resolution: Stop abbreviating the year.
Why? This year's abbreviation is easily changeable and could be used against you. The concern is that scammers could easily manipulate a document dated "1/1/20" into "1/1/2000" or even "1/1/2021."
Writing out the full date "could possibly protect you and prevent legal issues on paperwork," according to Hamilton County, Ohio, Auditor Dusty Rhodes.
While it's early in the year for examples of this kind of fraud to emerge, the threat is real according to Ira Rheingold, the executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
In a message emailed to USA TODAY Thursday, Rheingold said scammers could use the method to establish an unpaid debt or to attempt to cash an old check.