What are those 'forced auction signs' popping up in Montgomery County?

You might have seen the "forced auction" signs pushing a chance to bid on luxury goods like sports cars and famous paintings. They’re catching the attention of people in Montgomery County who walk and drive by them daily - and raising some concern.

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People want to know if this forced auction is legitimate or a scam and when FOX 5 DC’s Sierra Fox called the number on the sign, she got a voicemail saying: "You have reached a number that is disconnected or is no longer in service. Please check your number and try again."

North Bethesda residents say it seems suspicious to them.

"I don’t know anyone gullible enough to fall for something like that," one resident says.

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"Considering the situation right now… all these COVID lockdowns and stuff, I guess a lot of people are running out of money so it’s strange to see the signs, but you don’t know. I wouldn’t go. I cannot afford the Porsche," a woman who lives nearby added. 

The bright yellow signs are showing up all across Montgomery County on poles, grassy medians, and street lamps. They say the auction happened Sunday, October 17th so an attorney could avoid bankruptcy. The expensive list of items includes a Ferrari, jewelry, Rolexes, Picasso paintings, as well as fine silk handmade Persian carpets.

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According to the Better Business Bureau website, the alleged auctioneer responsible has an F rating and along with that – there are several complaints online.

People who have passed by these signs say anyone preying on the vulnerable to get a dollar needs to rethink their actions.

"Don’t do that. You can find other ways to make money – hopefully."

"It’s so mean considering people are suffering right now – going out of jobs and stuff. It’s inhumane to treat people like that."


Montgomery County Police say they have not received any complaints about the signs or the auction so at this time, they are not investigating.