Press release

Amazon Stops Multiple Fraudulent Affiliate Marketing Schemes

June 5, 2020 at 5:00 PM EDT

What:
Amazon stopped multiple affiliate marketing fraud schemes across the United States to protect customers from bogus emails and phone calls. 

Amazon filed three lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan, and Texas to stop fraudulent affiliate marketing schemes. The schemes identified in the lawsuits spammed email addresses with Amazon branded-emails to entice those receiving the emails to click on the links. The traffic was then directed to other online marketers operating phony Amazon-branded surveys. Amazon shut down the schemes at issue in the lawsuits. In Michigan, the defendants have agreed to a court order prohibiting them from using Amazon’s brand.

In a separate scheme, Amazon also stopped fake Amazon-branded email campaigns run by companies and individuals in Colorado and California. The bad actors responsible for the emails, Ryan Becker, Jeff Skeldum, Marc Barnum, and Steve Vernikov said they “acknowledge Amazon’s strong interest in protecting consumers from deceptive advertising and agree to refrain from using Amazon’s trademarks or brand in any internet marketing.” 

These actions follow last year’s lawsuit against an Illinois-based affiliate marketer, First Impression Interactive, Inc. and its owners who were responsible for advertising fake work-from-home jobs with Amazon. As a result of Amazon’s efforts, First Impression and its owners are now prohibited from using Amazon’s brand in any future marketing.

Amazon does not send unsolicited emails or texts. If customers encounter this activity, they can report it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/report-phishing.html

Statement, attributable to an ‘Amazon spokesperson’:
“Amazon has no tolerance for schemes fraudulently using our brand, and we are appalled at these bad actors’ attempts to deceive our customers. We are advocating for customers by holding these bad actors accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Additional Background:
You can see the court filings here:

  • Case: 20-cv-02338-AT, United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • Case: 20-cv-11422-BAF-APP, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Case: 20-cv-01920, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Case: 19-cv-00523-RSM, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

Amazon has an extensive history of protecting customers and sellers from scammers

 Press Contact
Amazon Public Relations
amazon-pr@amazon.com