Editor's take: In e-commerce, consumer trust is everything. Once that trust is violated, it can often be impossible to re-establish. Rather than go down that bumpy road, Amazon would like to avoid it altogether by keeping counterfeiters from ever being able to list their products on its marketplace. This is a non-perfect world, however, and sometimes, bad actors slip by the first wave of defense. That's where Amazon's new unit comes into play.

Amazon is taking its fight against counterfeiters to the next level with the establishment of a new division aimed at bringing fake goods dealers to justice.

The e-commerce giant already has a robust fraud division in place that, in many instances, is able to block suspected bad listings and alleged bad actors before they are even able to post a single product for sale. Last year, the company rolled out Project Zero, a three-pronged approach to slowing counterfeiters.

Even with all these proactive measures in place, fakes still get by from time to time.

The newly minted Counterfeit Crimes Unit is a multi-disciplinary team comprised of experienced investigators, former federal prosecutors and data analysts tasked with investigating cases in which sellers manage to slip past Amazon’s first wave of defense. Task force members will have access to Amazon’s data, pull information from payment processors and “leverage on-the-ground assets” in hopes of unmasking counterfeiters’ true identity.

With help from law enforcement, Amazon could bring these bad actors to justice via civil litigation. Division members will also work directly with brands in joint and independent investigations when applicable, we’re told.

Dharmesh Mehta, VP of customer trust and partner support at Amazon, said “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.”

Image credit: Oriol Domingo, Olivier Le Moal