U.S. card issuers lose $10.9 billion each year to card fraud, according to research released Tuesday by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

Credit cards account for $7.6 billion (71%) of overall losses to card fraud; debit accounts, $2.7 billion (25%) and prepaid cards, $500 million. LexisNexis collaborated with Javelin Strategy and Research on the online survey of 100 risk and fraud decision-makers and influencers working at U.S. card issuers.

EMV chip technology is the strongest defense against fraud at the point of sale, Michael C. Smith, director of fraud market planning and author of the study, said in a June 6 news release. But as the U.S. payments industry continues to roll out EMV security, issuers are expecting an increase in certain types of fraud that EMV does not protect.

"With the window closing on easily replicable magstripe cards, we forecast a shift and bump in identity schemes —characterized by the use of synthetic identities and the misuse of true identities," he said in the release.

Application fraud – when someone opens an account using fake or stolen documents in another person’s name – and account takeover – usually the result of phishing, spyware or malware scams – represent the two most harmful types of fraud, each of which represents 20% of total fraud losses. Counterfeit card fraud represents 16% of losses and card-not-present fraud is expected to increase with or without EMV in place.

The misuse of payment cards that are lost or stolen (28% of fraud losses) and nonreceipt fraud (15%) – when the card is intercepted in the mail before the legitimate cardholder receives it – represent the biggest challenges to issuers’ ability to distinguish fraud committed by the cardholder and a fraudster, according to the study. Since EMV protects against counterfeit fraud, stolen and nonreceipt card fraud are unaffected by its protections.

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