April 17, 2024

Amazon is continuing to crack down on fake goods.

The e-commerce giant seized and disposed of over 7 million counterfeit products worldwide in 2023, according to the company’s latest Brand Protection Report.

“That’s critical because that stops products from ever going to our customers and oftentimes even hitting our fulfillment centers,” said Kebharu Smith, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) director.

In 2023, Amazon spent over $1.2 billion and employed roughly 15,000 employees to combat counterfeits, fraud, and other forms of abuse, Smith said.

Last year, Amazon prevented 700,000 bad actors from creating new seller accounts and selling products online altogether. Since its launch in 2020, the CCU has pursued legal action and/or reported to law enforcement more than 21,000 bad actors around the world.

“That impacts innovators, designers, creators and small businesses,” said Smith, who previously served on the DOJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS).

Oftentimes counterfeiters are working with other types of criminals such as terrorists, human traffickers, and money launderers, he added.

Most recently, Smith said the unit worked with YETI coolers to file multiple lawsuits against bad actors that attempted to sell fake YETI products, including the popular Rambler mug.

YETI is part of Amazon’s brand registry and Project Zero, which helps businesses identify and remove counterfeit listings from Amazon.

Amazon’s fake goods crack down has only increased since its launch four years ago. In 2022, the company seized roughly 6 million fake goods. In 2021, the company got hold off 3 million fake products. In 2020, the company seized 2 million.

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