Amazon declares war on fake products to protect consumers

Amazon launches a task force to fight counterfeit products: it will also be active in Italy. Here's how it will work

It's called "Counterfeit Crimes Unit", it will be a global multidisciplinary team composed of former U.S. federal prosecutors, private investigators and data analysts and it will be Amazon's internal working group to unearth counterfeit products on e-commerce. And denounce those who sell them.

The Counterfeit Crimes Unit of Amazon will work especially on cases in which a seller has tried to circumvent the automatic anti-counterfeiting systems already in place, will extract data from Amazon and compare them with information from external sources, including paid databases and open source intelligence. Work, then, that will start with big data and then add human review to deepen the investigation. This investigation will also involve the participation of the brands that are victims of counterfeiting. If a seller of counterfeit goods is found, Amazon will take him to court. Worldwide: "Every counterfeiter is warned that they will be held liable to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of where they attempt to sell their counterfeit products or where they are located," explains Dharmesh Mehta, VP Customer Trust and Partner Support at Amazon.

Six Billion Fake Products

In 2019, Amazon spent $500 million, employing 8,000 employees, to ferret out and crack down on fraud (including counterfeiting) on its marketplace. This work led to the blocking of more than 6 billion suspicious listings, resulting in the suspension of 2.5 million accounts of potential sellers of counterfeit products. The result, according to Amazon, was great: 99.9% of products displayed on Amazon received no complaints of suspected counterfeiting. The "Counterfeit Crimes Unit" will be used to deliver the final blow to sellers of counterfeit products.


In May 2019, Amazon discovered and blocked listings selling counterfeit products in Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, and then proceeded to report the advertisers to the appropriate authorities.

The new team will be global and will continue to work closely with national anti-crime agencies, such as the National Intellectual Property Right Center in the US and Europol in Europe. The total war on counterfeiting, then, has now been declared by Amazon, which, it must be admitted, is making considerable economic and technical efforts to win it.