Amazon, Cartier sue counterfeiters for selling fake luxury goods on Instagram


San Francisco, June 17 : Amazon and luxury jewellery brand Cartier have filed lawsuits against a social media influencer and eight businesses for advertising, promoting and facilitating the sale of counterfeit luxury goods through Instagram and other websites. The lawsuits were filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleging that the "defendants colluded with each other to sell counterfeit products and engage in false advertising". "By using social media to promote counterfeit products, bad actors undermine trust and mislead customers," said Kebharu Smith, associate general counsel and director of the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU). "Amazon will keep investing and innovating to stay ahead of counterfeiters, and working with brands and law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable," Smith said in a statement. Among the nine defendants, the lawsuits allege that a social media influencer conspired with bad actors to attempt to circumvent Amazon's anti-counterfeiting detection tools by promoting counterfeit luxury products, including fake Cartier bracelets, necklaces, and rings, on Instagram as well as their own websites. The criminals openly posted photos of counterfeit Cartier jewellery, with a description of the infringing product on Instagram, but on Amazon and other websites, they created product detail pages for generic products with no indication of infringement. They then provided customers on Instagram a link to the generic product on Amazon or other websites, and they told customers if they purchased the generic item, they would receive a counterfeit Cartier product. The criminals repeatedly directed and instructed their social media followers on how to try to purchase infringing products on Amazon, by directing them to links or sending direct messages from Instagram, on how to purchase "high-quality copies" of luxury brands such as Cartier in the Amazon store and other online marketplaces, the comma lies alleged. Amazon said that last year, it invested more than $900 million and employed more than 12,000 people dedicated to protecting customers, brands, selling partners, and the store from counterfeit, fraud, and other forms of abuse. /IANS


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