Amazon blocked 10 billion fake items and destroyed millions more last year

Amazon blocked over 10 billion fraudulent listings from being sold on its marketplace last year thanks to state-of-the-art machine learning technology.

Amazon, which has come under increasing pressure from brands, lawmakers and consumer watchdogs to do more to tackle the sale of fake goods on its platform, announced the staggering figures in its latest brand protection report this morning.

According to the ecommerce giant its machine learning tech, which automatically scans listings and removes suspected counterfeits, prevented a whopping 10 billion fake items from being sold last year marking a 67 per cent increase on 2019.

It also said that it destroyed more than 2 million counterfeit products sent to its warehouses last year before they could be sold, while its verification system prevented some 6 million ‘suspicious’ seller accounts from being created.

Its anti-counterfeit efforts are largely a response to a growing number of scammers targeting a new wave of inexperienced online shoppers, who were forced to turn to ecommerce for the first time during the pandemic.

READ MORE: Amazon sues four sellers for peddling fake luxury goods

According to the retailer it spent a $700 million on these measures last year, employing over 10,000 new staff to tackle the growing problem of fraudulent sellers.

“We’ve helped our selling partners keep their virtual doors open and, despite increased attempts by bad actors, continued to ensure that the vast majority of customers shop with confidence from our broad selection of authentic products,” Amazon’s vice president for customer trust and partner support Dharmesh Mehta said.

“Our team’s relentless innovation has helped us stop six million attempts to create a selling account and more than 10 billion suspect listings as we continue to drive counterfeits to zero.”

In November Amazon announced it was partnering with the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre, a task force set up by the Department of Homeland Security to “analyse data and conduct targeted inspections aimed at preventing counterfeit products from entering the US”.

Any evidence collected by the team, made up of former federal prosecutors, investigators and data analysts, will be used to advance ongoing investigations into bad actors on its marketplace.

While Amazon has launched various initiatives, pursued counterfeiters in court and blocked millions of suspected bad actors, it has struggled to stamp out counterfeit goods on its vast marketplace which now accounts for over two thirds of its sales.

This saw Amazon draw the ire of the Trump administration which promised to tackle the “Wild West of counterfeiting and trafficking” on websites like Amazon.

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