Amazon alleges in a new lawsuit that a group of unnamed individuals used the tech giant’s name, trademarks and branding to dupe people into clicking on links with the promise of fraudulent Amazon gift cards and other rewards that would never come.
The company says in the suit that the defendants profited off email marketing campaigns they built to drive traffic to a series of advertisers and websites. On their own, email campaigns are a common and legitimate way to drive web traffic. However, the lawsuit alleges the defendants impersonated Amazon in these campaigns, by doing things like referring to people as “Amazon shoppers” to confuse them and send them to marketers, advertisers and websites to ultimately buy products with no relationship to Amazon.
“Defendants are engaged in a widespread, fraudulent marketing scheme that bombards victims with unauthorized emails and abuses Amazon’s brand to generate traffic,” according to the suit. “Defendants then profit from fees for this fraudulently generated traffic paid to them by affiliate marketing networks and advertisers.”
An example of an email using Amazon branding to get people to click a link. (Photo via court documents)
The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Seattle, represents Amazon’s latest effort to combat …read more