One-third of online shoppers received an unexpected surprise last year— they unwillingly received a counterfeit product. An undercover investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) of counterfeit consumer goods on Amazon, eBay, Sears, Walmart, and Newegg validates that claim — about 50% of the items purchased by the GAO were counterfeit.

U.S. and cross-border scam artists freely unload an inexhaustible supply of counterfeit merchandise on Amazon, mostly from China, which appear right alongside authentic items conveying Amazon’s endorsement. Amazon’s 13 global websites operate under a huge legal loophole, virtually immune to prosecution, IP laws and safety standards. Amazon receives a transaction fee for each item sold.

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