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'grinch Bots' Attempt to Steal Christmas By Driving ­p Toy Prices

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The Grinch.

Online fraudsters are using "Grinch bots" to buy up the most popular toys and resell them at inflated prices on third-party websites like Amazon and eBay.

Credit: MGM Television

Online fraudsters are frustrating Christmas shoppers by using software bots to buy up the most popular toys to resell at inflated prices at third-party websites such as Amazon and eBay.

"There is simply no competition between a bot and even the most organized human," says PerimeterX CEO Omri Iluz. He notes these "Grinch bots" use sophisticated software to aggressively search for product pages of popular items before they even go on sale, and then bulk-buy products before customers have time to purchase them.

"The problem is these bots find out things are popular before people do themselves," says MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi. "So by the time you've decided this is all the rage because you've heard about it from your kid's friends or from someone else, it's hard to" buy it.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is urging the retail industry to crack down on Grinch bots by finding and blocking their infiltration of retailers' sites.

From National Public Radio
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