A hoax is a eliberate attempt to dupe, deceive or trick an audience into believing, or accepting, that something is real, when in fact it is not; or that something is true, when in fact it is false. In an instance of a hoax, an object, or event, is not what it appears to be, or what it is claimed to be - for example, "snake oil," which was sold by 19th century traveling salesman in the United States as a cure-all. It differs from magic in that the audience is unaware of being deceived - whereas in watching a magician perform a magical act, the audience expects to be tricked.