World Anti-Counterfeiting Day: How Amazon collaborates to protect consumers from counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse

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“Keeping consumers safe from counterfeits is a global challenge that requires an innovative, multi-faceted approach. From proactive controls that help keep bad actors and potentially infringing products out of our store to global, cross-sector partnerships, to seller and consumer education initiatives, we are committed to driving counterfeits to zero.” - Anna Dalla Val, director of brand protection strategic partnerships, Amazon, at UNIFAB’s 2024 European Intellectual Property Forum

World Anti-Counterfeiting Day is a global campaign dedicated to focusing on the challenges of counterfeit and piracy. At Amazon, alongside our own technology and proactive efforts, the collaboration across the public and private sectors is key to our approach to this global challenge. Whether that be working alongside our selling partners to protect intellectual property and stop bad actors from entering our store, or building consumer awareness campaigns alongside industry leaders and consumer advocacy groups, we are committed to making the shopping experience a safer one for consumers around the world.

In 2023, we invested more than $1.2 billion and employed more than 15,000 people—including machine learning scientists, software developers, and expert investigators—who were dedicated to protecting customers, brands, selling partners, and our store from counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse.

Working with sellers and industry leaders to protect intellectual property

Creating a safe environment for consumers to shop and for entrepreneurs to grow their business starts with trust, and our people, technology, and programs work together to foster this trustworthy shopping experience every day.

When businesses choose to sell in our store, they trust we will provide a great selling experience without being impacted by bad actors. To verify the identity of potential sellers, we leverage a combination of advanced technology and expert human reviewers. Prospective sellers are required to provide a variety of information, such as government-issued photo IDs, taxpayer details, and banking information. We employ advanced identity detection methods like document forgery detection, advanced image and video verification, and other technologies to quickly confirm the authenticity of government-issued identity documents and whether they match the individual applying to sell in our store. In addition to verifying these, our systems analyze numerous data points, including connections to previously detected bad actors, to detect and prevent risks. In 2023, Amazon stopped more than 700,000 bad actor attempts to create new selling accounts, stopping them before they were able to list a single product for sale in our store.

After sellers are verified, we have tools, technology, policies, and processes in place to both identify risk signals and help them create accurate listings that are compliant with our policies and not potentially infringing on others’ intellectual property. Entrepreneurs and small businesses use these tools and policies as a guide as they start to list their first products.

To help prevent fraud and abuse in the trademark system more broadly, Amazon and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) share information and trends that help keep false, and otherwise abusive, brands off our store while supporting the USPTO’s investigations of potential fraud. On World IP Day 2023, we also initiated a seller-education campaign with the USPTO and leading China-based industry associations. Through a series of live-streams, videos, and in-person events, we provided our selling partners in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Ningbo educational materials on the importance of protecting their IP.

Partnering with industry to protect and educate consumers

We recognize the importance of educating consumers about the risks of counterfeit goods, and we continue to pursue a number of avenues to drive better consumer education.

In Spain, we recorded a podcast with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office to raise consumer awareness; in Poland, we worked with the Consumer Forum on the “live originally” campaign; in India, we partnered with a leading industry association and held capacity-building workshops across the country; and in the UK, we collaborated with Crimestoppers on a yearlong social media campaign warning the public about the dangers of fake goods.

Educating younger generations on the risks counterfeit goods pose is another important step toward building a safer future for consumers. Amazon, INDICAM, and H-FARM College, hosted an event in Italy celebrating Challenge the Fake, an initiative focused on driving consumer awareness on the importance of keeping consumers safe from counterfeit and protecting intellectual property. More than 600 participants joined the challenge to create a campaign aimed at raising awareness while being mentored by Amazon, INDICAM, and SHADO, the marketing communication agency for H-FARM. Finalists then presented their work at the event, speaking through their unique approach to educating others on the importance of buying authentic products.

In partnership with the International Trademark Association (INTA), Amazon launched the 2024 Unreal Campaign Challenge, reaching 261,000 global DECA members, asking them to produce a 60-second public service announcement (PSA) video that highlights the dangers of purchasing counterfeit. The winners were recognized at DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in front of more than 22,000 students.

“With the support of Amazon, INTA’s Unreal Campaign is driving awareness about the dangers of counterfeit goods,” said Eryck Castillo, former chair of the Unreal Campaign Committee at INTA. “These young consumers shop across all types of retailers and can be particularly vulnerable to these illegal activities. We look forward to continuing the great work we’ve done with the Unreal Campaign, working with Amazon to ensure our message and education reaches our audience and helps protect them from harm.”

In support of INTA’s Unreal Campaign, Amazon also gave a lecture to MBA students at the SDA Bocconi campus in Milan, raising awareness about counterfeiting and the importance of partnership.

Making the shopping experience a more trustworthy one for consumers requires significant innovation and collaboration, and at Amazon, the progress we’ve made in our own store would not be possible without the controls we have in place and the partnerships we have been able to build with brands, associations, policymakers, law enforcement, and others. We collaborate across sectors to stop bad actors from entering our store and educate the current, and next, generation of consumers on the dangers of counterfeit goods. We recognize that this challenge is one that affects us all, and we are committed to addressing it together.

To learn more about Amazon’s approach to anti-counterfeiting, visit our Anti-Counterfeiting page here.