n. A software program designed to purchase online a large number of tickets for a concert, show, or other event, enabling the person running the software to sell the tickets for a profit.
Also Seen As
Von Ahn wrote a program that generates four random letters and numbers, distorts them, and places them on a fuzzy background. Type in the four characters correctly and you're in. Von Ahn dubbed his invention the Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart — or Captcha — and when Yahoo began using it, the spambot problem was greatly reduced. Soon, Ticketmaster was using Captchas to keep scalper-bots at bay, and AOL and Microsoft adopted them to protect their email systems.
—Clive Thompson, “For Certain Tasks, the Cortex Still Beats the CPU,” Wired, July 01, 2007
The only that concerns me about all this stuff is that between the diehard drooling fans and the scalper bots, I'm not going to be able to go to any big shows anymore.
—Zach, “Coldplay's US Tour: The Results Are In,” BlogCritics, November 16, 2005
2005 (earliest)
Another veteran scalper, who agreed to talk only if he were not identified by name, says scalper friends used bots against Ticketmaster until the deployment of that Web site's CAPTCHA. Since then, they have stopped …

The Sledge isn't surprised to learn that he was competing with scalper bots for a place online. "Wherever they try to put up a barrier, someone is going to be one step ahead of them, trying to crack it," he says.
—David Downs, “Roboscalper,” East Bay Express, March 30, 2005