Amazon announced a lawsuit against 13 bad actors who conspired to use social media to promote and advertise the sale of counterfeit luxury goods in our store.
Our lawsuit alleges that the defendants attempted to evade our anti-counterfeiting protections through the promotion of products on Instagram and TikTok as well as personal websites. The scheme involved posting side-by-side photos of a generic, non-branded product and a luxury counterfeit product with the text, "Order this/Get this." "Order this" referred to the generic product falsely advertised on Amazon, and "Get this" referred to the luxury counterfeit product. The defendants also used social media to post numerous videos describing the alleged high quality of the counterfeits they promoted.
Amazon launched a Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) in June to combat counterfeiters of all scales and ensure that counterfeiters are held accountable around the world.
Preventing counterfeit products from ever becoming available in our store remains our top priority. We make significant investments in machine learning and automated systems, and employ dedicated teams of software engineers, applied scientists, program managers, and expert investigators to operate and continually refine our anti-counterfeiting programs. Amazon’s systems automatically and continuously scan numerous data points related to selling accounts, products, brands, and offers to detect activity that may indicate a potential counterfeit product and immediately block or remove it from our store.
As a result, 99.9% of all products viewed by customers on Amazon did not have a valid counterfeit complaint. In 2019 alone, we invested over $500 million and have more than 8,000 employees protecting our store from fraud and abuse. We also stopped over 2.5 million suspected bad actor selling accounts before they published a single listing for sale and blocked more than 6 billion suspected bad listings before they were published to our stores.
The Counterfeit Crimes Unit continues to pursue bad actors through civil litigation and criminal referrals, and provide aid to law enforcement. This case highlights the need for cross-industry partnerships and collaboration between Amazon, social media sites, and law enforcement to successfully put counterfeiters out of business.