With the New Year in full swing, many of us are finally getting into the habit of writing 2020 instead of 2019. Be warned, however, that the new decade brings with it a unique legal risk.
Legal experts are warning that documents dated in typical DD/MM/YY format this year are vulnerable to fraudsters and scammers.
The last two digits of 2020 being the same as the first two, abbreviating “2020” to simply “20” makes it possible for anyone to alter the date of your document to reflect a totally different year, pre-dating or post-dating the document.
To illustrate, adding 18 to the end of 14/01/20 could indicate that a document was signed on 14/01/2018. This makes it seem like the document is two years older than it really is!
Abbreviating the year is a very simple and common occurrence, but doing so this year is an easily avoidable mistake that could have great consequences.
The risk is especially significant for wills and estate documents, financial documents, cheques, contracts and other legal documents. Stay wary of signing anything that doesn’t have a full date.
As we discussed in our blog last week, the start of the year is a great motivation to organise your affairs, whether that means creating or updating your Will, getting a Power of Attorney and an Appointment of Guardian or getting a divorce.
Martin Bullock Lawyers can ensure that your legal documents are properly drawn up and that you are protected against scammers and fraudsters. Contact Greg of Jacqueline on (02) 9687 9322.