The reason all the must-have Christmas toys you've been searching for are out of stock? What would Santa Say

by Super User
Online fraudsters could be the reason why this years Christmas must-have toys are out of stock. What would Santa Say? In the run up to Christmas Day, many parents are still pacing up and down the high street and scouring online for the must-have toys and gifts of 2017.

Getting your hands on the most popular toy has always been a huge task (remember the Buzz Lightyear incident?) but this year, the odds are climbing against desperate parents . In a similar way ticket touts buy up tickets to concerts, cyber ‘bots’ are scooping up all stock of certain products - and they’ve been unleashed on this season’s top selling items .

These intricate pieces of computer software, dubbed “Grinch Bots”, use complex algorithms to identify the product page of a seller with stock of a popular toy before it is available and then rapidly purchases the products before anyone else gets chance. Fraudsters strike often before a customer even has the chance to add it to their cart.

The shops then sell out of the toy to desperate parents and end up paying extortionate prices for the product on third party selling sites such as eBay or Amazon Market. This is why you see the £60 item your child has been begging for in stock at triple the price on eBay. Despite most sites having limits to the number of items a buyer can purchase, it is believed scammers use a specific set of code which bypasses the preset limits along with large numbers of credit card numbers and IP addresses (the unique number Internet device has).

And with little in place to help battle the bots, it’s unlikely to stop any time soon. Let us know what Santa would think of this here at Santa CCTV, Santa Cam website

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