Taking action to filter out counterfeiters

Aug 11th 2022

Woman gets water from refrigerator door dispenser

Today, Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU) with General Electric (GE) and GE Appliances, a Haier company, jointly filed a lawsuit against 16 defendants who deceived customers by falsely advertising and attempting to sell counterfeit GE-branded water filters in Amazon’s store.

“We are committed to only offering authentic products in our store. Counterfeiters harm customer trust and are often linked to other criminal enterprises,” said Kebharu Smith, Director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit. “So it’s in everyone’s best interest—retailers, brands, and law enforcement—to bring an end to counterfeiting. We appreciate GE and GE Appliances partnership in our efforts to find and take action against fraudsters.”

Katherine Caverno, Senior Design Engineer for Refrigeration, tests the effectiveness of genuine GE Appliances' water filters compared to counterfeit knock-offsKatherine Caverno, Senior Design Engineer for Refrigeration, tests the effectiveness of genuine GE Appliances' water filters compared to counterfeit knock-offs. At GE Appliances’ testing labs, our scientists and engineers are dedicated to innovating the latest carbon block technology and developing the best formulas for performance to ensure our consumers have clean and safe drinking water.

Amazon’s brand protection efforts are focused on three pillars: proactive controls, powerful tools for brands and rights owners, and holding counterfeiters accountable. All three of our brand protection pillars delivered in this case to protect customers and the GE brand from the defendants who worked with each other as part of an organized counterfeiting scheme.

Through the rigor of Amazon’s Project Zero and Brand Registry brand protection tools, Amazon and GE Appliances were able to detect and quarantine counterfeit products, sending samples to GE Appliances for review. Once Amazon and GE Appliances verified the fakes, Amazon blocked the respective selling accounts and proactively issued full refunds to customers who purchased the counterfeit items. Customers are always protected with Amazon’s A-to-z Guarantee if they receive a product that is not in the condition expected whether sold by Amazon or a third-party.

While counterfeiters make it tough to distinguish a genuine water filter from a fake, Amazon and GE and GE Appliances are taking action to protect customers. Genuine GE-branded water filters are tested by GE Appliances to ensure the highest quality of filtration for safe and clean drinking water – removing impurities that you often can’t see, taste or smell.

“It’s important that consumers are aware of the risks associated with counterfeit refrigerator water filters. Fake filters do not adhere to the same quality and performance standards and fail to provide filtration performance. Non-genuine filters can also impact your refrigerator’s functionality and cause leaks. At GE Appliances, we stand behind genuine products with third-party testing you can trust,” says James Downey, Senior Director, Water Filtration at GE Appliances.

To learn more or purchase a part, please visit the water filtration website.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, on behalf of the industry, has further educational materials at www.FilterItOut.org.

Glass full of water sits in refrigerator door dispenser

The court filings are available here:

Case number: Amazon.com Inc., et al. v. KexleWaterFilters, et al. (Docket No. 2:22-cv-01120 (W.D. Wash.)), United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

In the fight to ensure consumers only purchase authentic and safe products, Amazon’s CCU has established its reputation as a global partner to brands and law enforcement through its aggressive enforcement against counterfeiters and the removal of illegal products from the supply chain. Read about the CCU’s previous actions here: