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Amazon has sued social media influencers Kelly Fitzpatrick and Sabrina Kelly-Krejci [KRAY-chee] for facilitating the selling of counterfeit products on the shopping website.
According to the lawsuit, the influencers were selling knockoff luxury items, such as bags and belts, through Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and their personal websites, and falsely advertising them as legitimate unbranded goods on the e-commerce platform. The perpetrators worked with 11 online sellers to get past Amazon’s various ways to detect counterfeit goods.
The act was orchestrated on social media, where the influencers promoted side-by-side photos of the counterfeit item and the unbranded item with the caption, “Order this, Get this.” The caption means that buyers needed to order an unbranded product listed on Amazon to get the counterfeit item shown in the picture.
The influencers directed buyers to the counterfeit item by giving an Amazon link for the unbranded product, which buyers should order and check out. Once the order was placed, the sellers shipped out the counterfeit product instead of what was shown in the listing.
The lawsuit is part of Amazon’s effort to stop the sale of counterfeit goods on the platform, which can damage the credibility of those who sell original products.
Director Cristina Posa of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit stated that this case shows the urgency for cross-industry collaborations to remove counterfeiters in the market. She added that Amazon continues to direct its efforts to thwart illegal activity in the e-commerce website and encouraged social media sites to do the same.