Amazon has announced a new Counterfeit Crimes Unit to crack down on the small number of dodgy products on the site. They say that the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit is a global, multi-disciplinary team composed of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, and data analysts, and will join Amazon’s extensive work to drive counterfeit to zero.
Amazon’s first objective is to prevent a counterfeit from ever being listed in its store, and they say that their comprehensive proactive anti-counterfeit programs have ensured that 99.9% of all Amazon products viewed by customers did not have a valid counterfeit complaint. In 2019, Amazon invested over $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees fighting fraud, including counterfeit. Amazon’s efforts have blocked over 6 billion suspected bad listings in 2019 and blocked over 2.5 million suspected bad actor accounts before they were able to make a single product available for sale.
The Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit will investigate cases where a bad actor has attempted to evade Amazon’s systems and listed a counterfeit in violation of Amazon’s policies. The Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit will mine Amazon’s data, cull information from external resources such as payment service providers and open source intelligence, and leverage on-the-ground assets to connect the dots between targets. The Counterfeit Crimes Unit enables Amazon to more effectively pursue civil litigation against bad actors, work with brands in joint or independent investigations, and aid law enforcement officials worldwide in criminal actions against counterfeiters.
“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 are working hard to disrupt and dismantle these criminal networks, and we applaud the law enforcement authorities who are already part of this fight. 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.”
– Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President, Customer Trust and Partner Support, Amazon
The new unit builds on Amazon’s established history of collaboration with brands and law enforcement to hold counterfeiters accountable through financial penalties, civil litigation, and criminal prosecution. Amazon actively engages with authorities like the National Intellectual Property Rights Center (US), Europol (EU), and relevant enforcement authorities in China and around the world. In May, Amazon identified counterfeiters based in Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States and referred each to relevant national authorities.