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Amazon steps up its fight against counterfeiters

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Online retail giant Amazon has set up a Counterfeit Crimes Unit as part of its continuing fight to prevent fake products appearing on its website.

Online retail giant Amazon is upping its game against fake products appearing on its website with the establishment of a Counterfeit Crimes Unit.

The US-based global supplier, which is one of the largest sellers of fishing tackle on the planet, has set up a team made up of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators and data analysts to join its already robust efforts to eliminate counterfeiters.

Manufacturers within the fishing tackle industry have long complained about the number of fake products appearing on retail websites across the world so the strengthening of Amazon’s efforts to block counterfeiters will be welcomed. 

Its first objective is to prevent fake products from being listed in its store. Amazon has invested over $500m and has more than 8,000 employees fighting fraud. Amazon says its efforts blocked over six billion suspected bad listings in 2019 and stopped over 2.5m accounts before they were able to make a single product available for sale.

The Counterfeit Crime Unit will investigate cases where a company has attempted to evade its systems and listed a counterfeit in violation of its policies.

“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 are located,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Customer Trust and Partner Support at Amazon.

“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 bodies the investigative tools, funding and resources they need to bring criminal counterfeiters to justice because enforcement – through prosecution and other disruption measure such as freezing assets – is one of the most effective ways to stop them.”

The new unit builds on Amazon’s history of collaboration with brands and law enforcement to hold counterfeiters accountable through financial penalties, civil litigation and criminal prosecution. It actively engages with authorities like the National Intellectual Property Rights Center (US), Europol (EU) and other authorities across the world.

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