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Amazon creates team to go after counterfeiters

Its global Counterfeit Crimes Unit will take legal action against people who sell fakes.

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Amazon sets up a Counterfeit Crimes Unit.

Angela Lang/CNET

Amazon on Wednesday said it set up a Counterfeit Crimes Unit to go after knockoffs being sold on its sites. The global team will investigate and launch legal action against counterfeiters.

It'll mine the e-commerce giant's data and gather information from payment service providers and open source intelligence. The unit will take out civil cases against the people behind the fakes, help legitimate companies weed them out and back up law enforcement in criminal actions.  

"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, the company's vice president of worldwide customer trust and partner support, said in a release.

Amazon has come under pressure from lawmakers to fix problems like fake products and fake reviews on its sites. During a congressional hearing in March, the online retail giant said it spent $500 million last year to fight fraud and abuse on its stores. In January, Amazon also agreed to share more data about counterfeit sellers with law enforcement. 

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