Make sure you write 2020 on your checks

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With the new year, there’s a new scam authorities want you to be aware of if you still write checks from time to time.

It all has to do with the date 2020.

There are people who still rely on writing checks to pay for certain items. Deb Miller is one of them.

“About five or six a month, just for bills,” Miller said.

Consumer advocates and law enforcement want you to know if you do write a check, make sure when dating it, to fill out the date using all four digits, 2020.

“It’s unique to this year, because it’s 2020,” Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau said.

Jessie Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau says a lot of people haven’t heard of this scam yet, but here’s how it works.

“It allows a potential fraudster to backdate a check, 2019, or post dating it 2021 or any other date in that decade,” Schmidt said.

“So the problem being is that a check could potentially get cashed, twice at some point in time, so what say they electronically deposited this year, and they hang on to the check and a year later they take it to the bank and if you don’t, reconcile your checkbook every month or you get behind in your life where this check swap, when did I write it, would I have written it for,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt says using all four digits, 2020, is a good practice to get into.

“Absolutely, and it is a precautionary measure for yourself just to give you a little bit as a protection,” Schmidt said.

For those who still write checks to pay bills or for something you buy online or at a rummage sale, spread the word.

“Absolutely, I have older parents and my mother-in-law, and I don’t want them to be scammed at all,” Miller said.

Schmidt says it’s not just your checks you need to worry about, you should also use all four digits when signing any legal or professional documents, just so there’s no confusion.

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