Sen. Charles Schumer says scammers armed with cyber bots are the high-tech grinches driving up the costs of the holiday season's hottest toys.
Schumer says the bots can locate the product page of a popular toy even before it goes on sale. The software then scoops up thousands of products before a potential customer gets access to them. The toys are then resold at sky-high prices that are too expensive for the average consumers. For example, some toys that retail for $15 are now being sold on websites like eBay for as much as $1,000.
The senator is calling on the retail in industry to install safeguards to prevent this from happening.
"We have asked the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association to block the bots. They can, and they should be protecting their customers," Schumer said. "Now, you know, they're getting bought, but the bots buy them, just like anybody else buys them. So they don't have a monetary interest, b ut if they want to keep consumers shopping, they should definitely do it."
Congress passed Schumer's Bots Act last year to increase fairness for people buying tickets for games, concerts and Broadway shows on sites like StubHub.
Schumer says he wants to expand the law to other consumer products, but he says he needs retailers' help in the meantime until the law can be passed.