Mock Auction

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DEFINITION of 'Mock Auction'

A scam in which con artists work as a team to sell low-quality or fake goods to customers who believe they are getting a good deal. During a mock auction, members of the scam team pretend to be very satisfied customers. They will act as if they have just received very high-quality or high-value goods for a bargain price. This entices real customers to purchase nothing more than an empty box or a broken item. The con artists pack up and leave quickly before anyone notices.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Mock Auction'

The scammers may walk around a crowd with an expensive item that they claim was just purchased for an extremely low price. The scam artists may pass the item around without the customers noticing so that it appears that many customers have received a great bargain. When an actual customer buys the item, it is typically a cheap replica, a broken item, or even a box containing blocks of wood or other items to give it weight.

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