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Amazon Launches Counterfeit Crimes Unit to Target Bogus Products, Sellers The global team is dedicated to taking down fake products and the folks who sell them.

By Stephanie Mlot

This story originally appeared on PCMag

Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images via PC Mag

Amazon this week introduced the new Counterfeit Crime Unit: not the latest Law & Order spin-off, but a global team dedicated to taking down bogus products and the folks who list them online. With the help of former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators and data analysts, the retail giant will continue chasing fraud in its store.

Last year, Amazon invested more than $500 million and dedicated 8,000-plus employees to fighting fraud and abuse; its efforts blocked more than six billion bad listings and 2.5 million suspected swindlers in 2019 alone. Now, the company is taking things one step further by formally condemning plagiarists for their crimes.

"Every counterfeiter is on notice that they will be held accountable to the maximum extent possible under the law, regardless of where they attempt to sell their counterfeits or where they're located," Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of customer trust and partner support at Amazon, said in a statement.

Related: Amazon Launches $2B Fund for Clean Tech

"We are working hard to disrupt and dismantle these criminal networks, and we applaud the law-enforcement authorities who are already part of this fight," he continued. "We urge governments to give these authorities the investigative tools, funding and resources they need to bring criminal counterfeiters to justice because criminal enforcement — through prosecution and other disruption measures such as freezing assets — is one of the most effective ways to stop them."

The Counterfeit Crimes Unit, according to Amazon, allows the company to "more effectively" pursue potential suspects, work with brands to investigate and aid law enforcement worldwide. Amazon recently identified counterfeiters in Canada, China, the Dominican Republic, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, UK and U.S.

Stephanie Mlot

Reporter at PCMag

Stephanie began as a PCMag reporter in May 2012. She moved to New York City from Frederick, Md., where she worked for four years as a multimedia reporter at the second-largest daily newspaper in Maryland. She interned at Baltimore magazine and graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (in the town of Indiana, in the state of Pennsylvania) with a degree in journalism and mass communications.

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