(WHAM) - Beware the Grinch bots.
The so-called 'Grinch bots' are buying up high-demand holiday gifts and then re-selling them at major markups.
The cyberbot programs are able to buy the toys out of stock, forcing parents to make purchases on third-party sites such as eBay or Amazon. Usually they are sold at significantly higher prices.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer wants to make the practice illegal and is calling on retailers to help crack down on these online Scrooges.
"The stores and the people who make the products can block the bots," Schumer said. "They can and should be protecting their customers."
The National Retail Federation said it is working to "strengthen enforcement against bad actors and take away the tools being used against innocent customers."
For now, experts suggest waiting - even a couple of weeks - to get the toy that you want, rather than rewarding the owners of those pesky bots.