Pharmacies Brace For Vaccine Appointment Scalpers

Reuters reports:

U.S. retailers and pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS Health are preparing for a fresh round of “bot” attacks by scalpers hoping to snap up COVID-19 vaccine appointments as they did hoarding Sony PlayStation 5s and Nike sneakers.

For over a decade, the retail industry has battled so-called “scalper bots,” programmed to cut digital lines and snap up limited-supply products within milliseconds of their release, that are resold at significant mark-ups.

The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the problem because the boom in online shopping expanded scalpers’ sights to new categories from fitness equipment to essential goods like toilet paper and detergents. In Britain, scalpers using bots have also snatched online grocery delivery slots reserved for at-risk senior citizens.

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