NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says online bots have expanded their reach, and have now started snatching up must-have holiday toys.

It used to be that sophisticated computer programs, known as bots, would scoop up tickets to Broadway shows and concerts so scalpers could sell them at inflated prices. On Sunday, Schumer warned of a new use for the sketchy technology.

“The same kind of bots have migrated and are now targeting holiday toys that people really want,” the New York Democrat said.

It’s resulted in some of the most popular toys of the season only being available on third party sites for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Schumer is calling on the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association to block the bots while he works on expanding his legislation that would prohibit their use on items beyond show tickets.

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