Amazon launches ‘Counterfeit Crimes Unit’ in major crackdown of fraudulent sellers

Amazon is set to establish a new ‘Counterfeit Crimes Unit’ to crack down on unlawful sales of fake and counterfeit products amid increasing pressure.

The new global multi-disciplinary team, which will be comprised of former federal prosecutors, data analysts and investigators, will focus primarily on preventative measures to stop products ever being listed on Amazon’s marketplace.

Its new unit will use Amazon’s swathes of data alongside third-party information from companies like payment providers to hunt down bad actors.

READ MORE: Amazon will now face “civil fines and other penalties” for selling counterfeit goods

Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit will also allow the retailer to pursue civil litigation against fraudulent sellers while working with brands and law enforcement to tackle the increasingly troublesome issue.

“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,” Amazon’s vice president of customer trust and partner support Dharmesh Mehta said.

“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.”

It comes after new measures were passed by the Department of Homeland Security in January threatening online retailers like Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay with severe penalties for selling illegal counterfeit goods.

The measures will see law enforcement officials will begin identifying counterfeit goods being sold online immediately, and actively pursuing them with fines and potentially “injunctive relief”.

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