What is a Scalping Bot?

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Scalping bots are programs driven by artificial intelligence designed to quickly purchase newly released electronics and limited-edition products, then turn around and sell them for much higher prices (scalp).

Think of ticket scalpers at a sporting event, but now make it automated and for all products – not just ticket events.

With the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act, it is illegal to “circumvent a security measure, access control system, or other technological control or measure on an Internet website or online service that is used by the ticket issuer to enforce posted event ticket purchasing limits or to maintain the integrity of posted online ticket purchasing order rules.” This has cut back on sports and entertainer ticket scalping.

However, the new technique isn’t a physical person buying tickets. Instead the FTC has taken its first actions against firms that use scalping bots. Scalping bots create multiple identities, jump to the head of the line because they are faster than human reactions, and try to buy everything. In addition, they are capable of targeting multiple sellers at once.

According to Scambusters.org, Walmart blocked 20 million bot attempts to buy the new PS5 game console in under 30 minutes during the Christmas sale season.

Scalping bot programs can be bought for a few hundred dollars and it isn’t always an organized company. Sometimes it is just and individual.

While some retailers have joined with Walmart to call for action against scalping bots, it may be a long time in coming. CyberWyoming’s advice is to wait until the frenzy is over and then purchase the product. It will probably save you money in the long run.

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