Amazon spends more than $1.2 billion to stop fraud

Amazon brand protection
Amazon is actively working to prevent fraud on its site.

Amazon made a serious effort — and a hefty investment — to prevent counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse on its e-commerce site in 2023.

During the year, Amazon invested more than $1.2 billion and employed more than 15,000 people, including machine learning scientists, software developers and investigators, to detect and eliminate fraud affecting its suppliers, sellers and customers.

[Read more: Amazon launches industry effort to stop online counterfeiting]

In a corporate blog post, Amazon described how its brand protection program focuses on four key areas:

Seller vetting. Amazon’s seller verification initiative uses document forgery detection, advanced image and video verification, and other technologies to confirm the authenticity of government-issued identity documents and whether they match the individual applying to sell in its store. 

In 2023 Amazon says it stopped more than 700,000 bad-actor attempts to create new selling accounts, stopping them before they were able to list a product for sale in its online store.

Automated brand protection. Amazon employs advanced machine learning models using thousands of signals, including data provided by brands enrolled in its Brand Registry program, to systematically detect many different types of infringement, including improving its ability to accurately detect complex visual intellectual-property infringements of logos, shapes, and patterns. 

Since 2020, while the number of products available for sale on Amazon has grown significantly, the company says it has seen a more than 30% decrease in the total valid notices of infringement submitted by brands.

Partnering with brands and law enforcement. Since its launch in 2020, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) has pursued more than 21,000 bad actors through litigation and criminal referrals to law enforcement. 

In 2023, Amazon says the CCU identified, seized and appropriately disposed of more than 7 million counterfeit products worldwide, preventing them from being resold elsewhere in the retail supply chain. 

In addition to the disposal of counterfeit products, in 2023, Amazon strengthened its cross-border anti-counterfeiting collaboration with brands and Chinese law enforcement, which it says led to more than 50 successful raid actions with more than 100 bad actors identified and detained for questioning, with numerous criminal convictions, including fines and prison sentences.

Working with industry experts and associations to educate consumers. In partnership with the International Trademark Association and the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), Amazon launched the “Unreal Campaign Challenge,” which asked students to produce a 60-second video that was a public service announcement about the dangers of purchasing counterfeits. 

The Unreal Campaign Challenge reached more than 177,000 global DECA members and the winners were recognized at DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference.

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