Amazon teams with Microsoft, Prada against fraudsters in Asia

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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amazon_prada (Graphic: Business Wire)
Amazon is teaming with Prada to stop counterfeiters in China (Graphic: Business Wire).

Amazon is having success in the fight against phony goods and fake customer support centers in China and India with some big-name partners.

The e-tailer, which recently made Amazon Transparency, its product serialization solution designed to prevent counterfeits from being sold on its site, interoperable with brands’ own product serialization systems, is enlisting major tech and retail industry players to combat counterfeit sales on its site.  

Following are highlights of the e-tailer’s successful efforts to shut down counterfeiters working with luxury brands including Prada Group, and to shutter fraudulent call centers with Microsoft:

Prada Group

The Prada Group, and other luxury brands collaborated with the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) to provide information and evidence to Chinese law enforcement, which resulted in a counterfeiter’s guilty plea to crimes related to the sale of counterfeit luxury products.

Amazon’s CCU detected the defendant’s attempted counterfeiting in 2021, and following internal investigations, Amazon provided a criminal referral to the relevant regional Chinese enforcement agency, or public security bureau (PSB), to pursue a criminal case.

The defendant has been sentenced to three years in prison, will pay a $25,000 fine, and forfeit all revenue gained from the sale of counterfeit goods. The individual’s illicit inventory of counterfeits will also be seized and destroyed.

“The guilty plea is a significant win for Amazon’s CCU, but more importantly it’s a win for all of those who share our commitment to tackling the industry-wide issue of counterfeiting,” said Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s CCU“This successful result would not have been possible without the collaboration with law enforcement and luxury players such as the Prada Group. We are grateful for their support and look forward to continuing to take the fight to counterfeiters.”

“We are firmly committed to eradicating the sale of counterfeit goods to protect our brands and to ensure that our products meet the level of quality, craftsmanship and care that people expect from us,” said Francesca Secondari, Prada Group general counsel and chief legal officer. “Through the collaboration with Amazon, we are making great progress in the fight against those who attempt to break the law and to negatively impact our customers.”


Amazon, Microsoft, and Central Bureau Investigation (CBI), the federal enforcement agency in India, recently conducted multiple criminal raids in various cities across India against illegal call centers in India that were set up to impersonate Microsoft and Amazon customer support.

The illegal call centers impacted more than 2,000 Amazon and Microsoft customers primarily based in the U.S., but also in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain and the U.K.  

This operation was supported by a joint criminal referral made by Amazon and Microsoft through joint prosecution agreements in the U.S. and India, as the same cyber criminals were targeting both companies’ customers.

“We are pleased to join forces with Microsoft, and we believe actionable partnerships like these are critical in helping protect consumers from impersonation scams,” said Kathy Sheehan, VP and associate general counsel, business conduct & ethics, Amazon. “Amazon will remain vigilant and persistent in our efforts to stay one step ahead of fraudsters, but we cannot win this fight alone. We encourage others in the industry to join us as a united front against criminal activity.” 

In 2022, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit sued or referred for investigation over 1,300 criminals in the U.S., U.K., E.U. and China. The company continued to partner with brands and law enforcement to stop bad actors, and also worked to identify, seize and dispose of over 6 million counterfeit products. According to Amazon, this effort prevented the disposed counterfeit goods from being resold anywhere in the supply chain.

Amazon collaborates to stop counterfeiting

In April 2023, Amazon introduced the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX), an industry collaboration that allows participating e-commerce retailers to share information about confirmed counterfeiters who attempted to use their online stores to try to sell counterfeit products.