Amazon and Cartier prosecute bait & switch crooks

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Amazon and Cartier have filed two joint lawsuits against a social media influencer and eight businesses for advertising, promoting, and facilitating the sale of counterfeit luxury goods through Instagram and other websites, infringing on Cartier’s registered trademarks and violating Amazon’s policies.

They would list an innocent looking generic product on Amazon but then on social channels would advertise fake Cartier items and say if you buy the generic product on Amazon you’ll get your counterfeit Cartier.

One such product attempted to replicate Cartier’s iconic LOVE bracelet, which was first introduced as part of Cartier’s LOVE collection in 1969. This product was listed on Amazon disguised as a non-branded product with the description “Women’s Fashion Classic Screw Love Titanium Steel Bracelet” with no mention of Cartier and an image that carefully concealed the screw motif of Cartier’s authentic LOVE bracelet. On Instagram the product was clearly advertised as a counterfeit with images bearing the Cartier name and screw motif. When the generic product was purchased from Amazon, the counterfeit Cartier LOVE bracelet bearing the Cartier trademarks was shipped to the customer.

This might sound daft, but it totally bypassed Amazon’s counterfeit detection procedures and there are an amazingly high number of consumers more than willing to buy fakes so long as they know up front that it’s a fake they are getting. With healthy consumer appetite, it was a genius business model…. until they got caught.

By using social media to promote counterfeit products, bad actors undermine trust and mislead customers. Amazon will keep investing and innovating to stay ahead of counterfeiters, and working with brands and law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable. We don’t just want to chase them away from Amazon—we want to stop them for good.

– Kebharu Smith, associate general counsel and director, Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU)

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