Amazon announced on Wednesday the launch of the Counterfeit Crimes Unit, a global team consisting of former federal prosecutors, investigators, and data analysts, who will work with the online retailer on preventing knockoffs from making their way into its stores.
This newly-established task force will not be required to identify counterfeiters, but rather, use their respective skills to punish any offenders to the highest possible extent under the law.
Amazon mentions in their statement that in 2019 alone, the company was able to prevent over 2.5 million fraudulent accounts from selling a single fake product, and block over 6 billion bad listings. Despite their best efforts, Amazon hasn’t done enough to instill confidence in such companies as Nike, which stopped working directly with the online retailer late last year.
Amazon can still sell Nike products through independent retailers, who are willing to give the Seattle-based company a cut from each sale. However, this approach is where Amazon runs the risk of allowing counterfeits to sneak onto the site, and potentially into the hands of consumers.
Amazon cannot just cut ties with all of their third-party merchants since this group accounts for 52 percent of the goods sold on the site. This is why they invested over $500 million in 2019 to combat this ongoing problem. While Amazon hasn't attach a number to the amount of counterfeit products that appear in their marketplace, the issue was concerning enough that it was mentioned under the "risk factors" section in the company's annual report last year.