Penny auction site busted using software designed to cheat

online auction illustration
online auction illustration

Auction site PennyBiddr stopped taking bids and its owner agreed to pay more than $15,000 in refunds to users and legal costs in a settlement with the Washington Attorney General's Office.

The site used "bots" -- automated programs that imitate a human being making bids -- to artificially drive up prices, win auctions outright and make the site appear well-trafficked, according to the state's complaint.