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To Address Organized Retail Crime in California, Online Marketplaces Must Be Held Accountable
Transparency Online is Necessary to Counter Statewide Violent Retail Theft Operations
Washington, DC – Today, the Buy Safe America Coalition issued a statement reacting to the ongoing problem of organized retail crime in California following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s roundtable and press conference in Long Beach.
"We applaud Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing AB 331, which re-enacts the crime of organized retail theft and the operation of the state’s property crimes task force. Law enforcement is critical in the fight against criminal rings targeting local retailers, and the task force is an important component in coordinating efforts between retailers and local law enforcement," said Jason Brewer, Buy Safe America Coalition spokesperson.
Adequate resources are only half of the solution. Policymakers need to address the ease with which criminals can quickly and anonymously sell stolen goods online by implementing a comprehensive solution.
"We need to address the root cause of this recent spike in criminal activity targeting local retailers, and that is the ease with which criminals can hide behind screennames and fake business accounts to sell stolen goods on platforms like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. These platforms have allowed criminal networks to create a business model for selling stolen goods, and it’s put a target on the back of local retailers and their employees," said Brewer.
California has battled a flood of organized retail crime operations in recent years. From Northern to Southern California, these illegal schemes have wreaked havoc on local businesses and their employees.
"Until transparency and accountability safeguards on e-commerce platforms are established, we can only expect to see retail theft rates continue to rise, and for these crimes to become more brazen and more violent," said Brewer.
The Buy Safe America Coalition is urging Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, which would modernize consumer protection laws and require online marketplaces to collect and verify basic business information from sellers. This bipartisan measure would ensure that federal consumer protection laws are equipped to meet the needs of a digital economy and prevent criminal theft rings from setting up shop on leading online marketplaces. Similar state-level legislation has also been drafted in California.
Visit BuySafeAmerica.org for more information about the growing problem of stolen and counterfeit goods, and solutions to better protect consumers and businesses.
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates and law enforcement officials who support efforts at all levels of government to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.
The Buy Safe America Coalition represents a diverse group of responsible retailers, consumer groups, manufacturers, intellectual property advocates, and law enforcement officials who support efforts to protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods.Learn More
The marketplace today for common, everyday goods is flooded with counterfeit and stolen products. Absent reform, legitimate businesses, and consumers will continue to be harmed.Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes a counterfeit product? Why aren’t major online marketplaces doing more? Answers to common questions around the issue of organized retail crime.Learn More