Amazon files legal action against fake good facilitators

Amazon has filed six lawsuits against individuals and groups using various illicit schemes to counteract processes designed to prevent the listing of counterfeit products on its online retail site.

The e-commerce giant’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) said the “bad actors” operated Amazon selling accounts with falsified documentation so they could circumvent its seller approval and product authentication processes for restricted product categories.

According to court documents, in exchange for a few, defendants would log into bad actors’ selling accounts to provide fake or falsified authentication documents, allowing them to sell “counterfeit and other inauthentic or fraudulent products…without proof of a supply of authentic products.”

Amazon claims it reviewed the documents provided by the bad actors and has confirmed they were falsified and sourced from the defendants. It then worked with an outside investigator to pose as an interested party and contact many of these online sites with the stated intention of selling a product that required additional verifying documents to be sent to Amazon.

In response, the defendants provided fake documents to Amazon, confirming the bad actors’ scheme, while many other bad actors advertising similar services collected fees without performing the illicit service.

In a statement, Amazon said the CCU often partners with brand owners to file joint lawsuits against those attempting to sell counterfeits on its platform, but added: “The lawsuits filed today target a new category of bad actor operating an emerging and evasive scheme.”

It also said attempts to create new selling accounts for illicit activity decreased from 6 million attempts in 2020 to 700,000 in 2023, as a result of “a combination of advanced machine learning capabilities, robust vetting, and expert human investigators.”

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