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Peter Funk (search for this): article 2
Old Fraud Revived. --Frequent complaints are made at the Mayor's office and the Police Courts of gross frauds practised by auctioneers at house furniture. It is the revival of an old imposture. The operator rents a house, fills it with cheap second-hand but showy furniture, and then advertises that a wealthy gentleman, about leaving the city, will sell out the contents of his house at a sacrifice.-- "Mock" bidders are in attendance, and all the "Peter Funk" humbugs are practiced. The house is emptied in the day time, and filled up again in the night; and so the sale of the retiring wealthy gentleman's effects is kept up for a week or a month, or as long as victims continue to visit the house. Hitherto, through some defect in the law, these sharpers have escaped punishment; and buyers have been left, as they probably will be, to rely upon their own good sense and judgment to protect themselves against deception.--N. Y. Journal of Commerce.