Amazon launches counterfeit crimes unit to combat sale of fake products on its platform

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 25, 2020 Published on June 25, 2020

Amazon on Wednesday announced the launch of a Counterfeit Crimes Unit to combat counterfeit products on its website.

“Amazon is launching a new Counterfeit Crimes Unit, dedicated to bringing counterfeiters attempting to list counterfeit products in its store, to justice. The global team, made up of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, and data analysts, will support the company's substantial efforts already underway to protect its store from counterfeits,” Amazon said in an official blog post.

Counterfeit crimes are increasingly becoming an issue for the online retailer. Nike, for instance, has stopped selling direct products through the online retail platform, due largely to unlicensed and imposter sellers, the Verge reported. The US administration had recently placed five of the company’s foreign websites on its “notorious markets” list due to counterfeit sellers, the report added.

The retail giant said it had invested over $500 million in combating counterfeit fraud and had over 8,000 employees fighting fraud and abuse on its platform, including counterfeit.

This has led to the company blocking over “2.5 million suspected bad actor accounts before they were able to make a single product available for sale, and blocked over 6 billion suspected bad listings in 2019,” it said.

Dharmesh Mehta, Vice-President, Customer Trust and Partner Support, Amazon said: "Every counterfeiter is on notice that they will be held accountable to the maximum extent possible under the law, regardless of where they attempt to sell their counterfeits or where they’re located. We urge governments to give these authorities the investigative tools, funding, and resources they need to bring criminal counterfeiters to justice because criminal enforcement — through prosecution and other disruption measures such as freezing assets — is one of the most effective ways to stop them."

The Counterfeit Crimes Unit will help the tech giant pursue civil litigation against suspected criminals more effectively. It will also help the company in working with brands to conduct joint or independent investigations, and aid law enforcement officials worldwide in criminal actions against counterfeiters, Amazon said.

Published on June 25, 2020
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