National Check Fraud Center

Check Fraud Statistics

bad  checks

Returned Check Statistics

  • Merchants took in more than $13 billion in bad checks in 1996, an 18 percent increase over the year before, according to the credit industry's Nilson Report, June 1997.

  • Ernst & Young report in their 1996 survey that 75% of merchants use third-party verification services, another 16% use manual approval methods, and 13.3% have established an in-house authorization system.

  • A recent Nilson Report projects that the number of checks written annually will rise by two to four percent through the year 2020. At the same time, more than 1.2 million worthless checks enter the payment system daily.

  • On average, banks charge $19 to the check writer for a returned check and $5 to the depositor. Assuming a combined revenue stream to banks of $24 for returning a check, with 300 million returned checks, the annual revenue from returned checks is $7 billion.
    Global Concepts, Inc.

  • On average in 1995, Americans wrote nearly 1.7 million returned or bounced checks each day, totaling $51 million daily according to the American Collectors Association, Inc.

  • ACA estimates that in the year 2000, 85 billion checks will be processed and 731 million will bounce.

  • Between 1990-1995, the number of checks processed increased nearly 29%. Between 1995-2000, ACA expects the amount of checks processed will increase 18%.

  • In 1996, Ernst & Young reported that 75% of merchants used third-party verification services, 16% used manual approval methods, and 13.3% established an in-house authorization system.

Check Fraud Statistics

  • According to Ernst & Young more than 500 million checks are forged annually, with losses totaling more than $10 billion.

  • According to a report issued by the American Banker, an industry bankers magazine, estimates of losses from check fraud will grow by 2.5% annually in the coming years.

  • According to the Create-A-Check website, in 1997 there were about 496 million fraudulent checks written for a total of approximately $9.9 billion. This means that an average of 1.4 million fraudulent checks was written daily worth $27.3 million.

  • According to the National Check Fraud Center, check fraud and counterfeiting are among the fastest-growing problems affecting the nation's financial system, producing estimated annual losses of $10 billion and losses continue to rise at an alarming rate annually.

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