WhatsApp, why you should not abbreviate 2020 in “20”: what’s true

On WhatApp a message has gone viral that invites you to write the full year in the dates of official documents: what's true

In recent days on WhatsApp some messages have gone viral that launch a rather worrying alarm: when you write a date do not abbreviate 2020 in "20", it could be used by fraudsters to steal money or change the date to an official document. A message that has created great alarm especially among freelancers who are obliged to sign their documents with the date of the day every day. Is there really a danger that someone will tamper with the date of a document where the year is written using only the number "20"?

This question has been answered by the site Bufale.net, always very active when it comes to unmask a hoax message or a fake news. In this case, however, we are not faced with fake news, but at the same time we should not create too much alarmism. The possibility of a scammer changing the date of a document in which the year is marked only with the number "20" is real, but it is not a ploy that is used very frequently. Out of thoughtfulness, when putting the date on a document it is preferable to write the year in full, so that no one can question it.

Why you should not shorten 2020 in "20": the message that depopulates on WhatsApp

There are two messages that run in these hours on the messaging application. "A practical tip for this year: when you write a date in documents take care to write the year 2020 in full: 31/01/2020 and not 31/01/20".  "Legal advice for 2020. When we write a date in documents, during this year we need to write the entire year 2020 like this: 31/01/2020 and not 31/01/20 just because it is possible for someone to change it to 31/01/2000 or 31/01/2019 or any other year at convenience. This problem is only occurring this year. Be very careful! Do not write or accept documents with only 20. Pass this helpful information around."

Why have they gone viral in such a short time? Who was the first to publish this news? The message comes from the United States, where many posted it first on Facebook and then passed it around on WhatsApp chats. In a very short time it arrived also in Italy where it was promptly taken up and adapted.

What is the risk

Are there real risks or is it the classic hoax message? In this case it is not a fake news, but you should not create too much alarmism either. Writing "20" instead of 2020 could convince scammers to change the date of a document by adding two more numbers at the end. For example, if we write 2/02/20, a scammer could add "19" at the end changing the date of the document to 2/02/2019, effectively making it null and void. This is why it is a good idea to write the year in full.