In a nutshell: Amazon has filed a lawsuit against two social media influencers who allegedly helped several individuals and businesses sell counterfeit goods on the retail site.
Amazon claims that Kelly Fitzpatrick, of Long Island, New York, and Sabrina Kelly-Krejci, of Beloit, Wisconsin, along with 11 other China- and US-based defendants did advertise, promote, and facilitate the sale of counterfeit luxury goods on Amazon’s store. The company says that Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci used Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and their own websites to advertise the fake products.
The scheme alleged circumvented Amazon’s counterfeit-detection systems by advertising generic items on the store, but buyers would instead receive luxury, albeit it fake, alternatives, including purses, bags, belts and wallets branded as Gucci, Dior, and other top brands.
The influencers are alleged to have posted ads encouraging people to use these “hidden links” to purchase the items, which they called “designer dupes.” The influencers also posted numerous videos describing the alleged high quality of the counterfeits.
“You order a certain product that looks nothing like the designer dupe in order to hide the item from getting taken down and orders being canceled,” Fitzpatrick wrote on her website.
“Some people feel weird ordering from hidden links but in this case you will get something fabulous,” Kelly-Krejci wrote on her BudgetStyleFiles.com site, which is currently ‘Down for Maintenance.’
Fitzpatrick, whose website has also been taken down, had been a member of the Amazon Associates program, which allows social media influencers to advertise products from the site and take a percentage of their sales. She has now been removed from the program. Fitzpatrick launched multiple other accounts to try and evade her ban, but the plan didn't work.