Consumer protection advisory: avoid abbreviating the year, says county

The Gloucester County Department of Consumer Protection and Board of Chosen Freeholders warn residents of a potential new way data may be at risk in the new year.

The Gloucester County Department of Consumer Protection and Board of Chosen Freeholders would like to make all residents aware of a potential new way their data may be at risk in the new year.

Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “Even the small, everyday things like abbreviating the year from four digits to two digits can put your information at risk as we enter 2020 and it is important that our residents understand the issue at hand and how they can keep their information.”

Freeholder Lyman Barnes, Liaison to the Department of Consumer Protection said, “When writing checks and signing legal documents this year it is important to remember not to abbreviate the date. This year’s abbreviation could easily be manipulated and used against you. In order to prevent deception, we advise residents to write the complete calendar date and avoid shortening or condensing the year to two digits.”

The Gloucester County Department of Consumer Protection also advises that residents take the time to write the complete four-digit date of “2020” instead of abbreviating to “20.”  By writing the year this way, dates than cannot be altered by someone striving to commit fraud.

“We recommend that our residents routinely monitor their bank accounts and check their credit reports. This can be done annually at no cost using Experian, TransUnion and Equifax,” added Freeholder Barnes.

Please contact the Gloucester County Consumer Protection office at (856) 218-4185 with any questions or to assist with any additional questions.