PORTLAND, Ore. – The Better Business Bureau has a warning about cyber scammers using software to buy popular toys this holiday season, and re-selling them online for marked-up prices.
For example, Fingerlings are among this season's hottest toys. They're about $15. But they are often targeted by cyber scammers, using software called “grinch bots” that helps them snatch up the popular toys before parents are able to buy them.
Then, scammers resell the toys at huge mark-ups online.
A $15 Fingerling will go for $100 on Amazon, and $1000 on eBay. It’s not fair to parents, and the Better Business Bureau has some good old-fashioned advice.
“Try just going to a brick and mortar store you know, the bots can’t show up in person, fortunately, at least not yet! So you can you beat them, that way,” said BBB spokesman Stephen Mayer. “Going to an actual store and purchasing the gift there.”
He says, unfortunately, there's no way to stop the bots from buying toys, so another piece of advice? Start your shopping early, as early as possible, and find out the retail price of a toy before you start shopping to avoid being scammed.