Amazon sues influencers for alleged Instagram, Tik Tok counterfeit scheme
Amazon filed a lawsuit against two influencers and several online businesses on Thursday because they allegedly sold counterfeit luxury goods on the tech giant’s marketplace.
Amazon is suing 13 individuals and businesses for allegedly selling counterfeit products on the tech giant’s marketplace.
The lawsuit filed Thursday claims the defendants worked together “to sell counterfeit products and engage in false advertising,” according to a press release from Amazon, according to fox news.
Amazon alleges that influencers Kelly Fitzpatrick and Sabrina Kelly-Krejci participated in the scheme by using Instagram, TikTok and their own websites to promote counterfeit luxury goods sold by the other defendants.
“Together, they engage in a sophisticated campaign of false advertising for the purpose of evading Amazon’s counterfeit detection tools,” the lawsuit says.
Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci are accused of advertising the counterfeit goods on social media by posting “side-by-side photos of a generic, non-branded product and a luxury counterfeit product with the text, ‘Order this/Get this,’” the press release said.
The two influencers could not be reached by Fox News. They do not appear to have made any public statements as of Saturday morning.
"'Order this' referred to the generic product falsely advertised on Amazon, and 'Get this' referred to the counterfeit luxury product," the release alleges.
It continues to claim: “By posting only generic products on Amazon, Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci – and the sellers they coordinated with – attempted to evade our anti-counterfeit protections while using social media to promote the true nature of these counterfeit products. Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci also posted numerous videos describing the alleged high quality of the counterfeits they promoted.”
According to the release, Fitzpatrick had previously been part of Amazon’s Influencer Program but was removed when the company discovered she was allegedly selling counterfeit items.
”These defendants were brazen about promoting counterfeits on social media and undermined the work of legitimate influencers,” Cristina Posa, the associate general counsel and director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, said in a statement.
“This case demonstrates the need for cross-industry collaboration in order to drive counterfeiters out of business,” Posa added. “Amazon continues to invest tremendous resources to stop bad actors before they enter our store and social media sites must similarly vet, monitor, and take action on bad actors that are using their services to facilitate illegal behavior.”