Other forms: scams; scamming; scammed

A scam is a sneaky or dishonest plan that's meant to con someone. A diet scam, for example, falsely claims that people will lose weight if they buy special pills or drinks.

A scam is basically a hoax dressed up to look like a real business plan, worthwhile invention, or investment idea. Scams are almost always designed to make money for their creators. You can also use the word as a verb: "His evil plan was to scam people into buying fake tickets to the baseball game." Word experts know that scam came from US carnival slang, but beyond that its origins are a mystery.

Definitions of scam
  1. noun
    a fraudulent business scheme
    synonyms: cozenage
    see moresee less
    the practice of sending deceptive emails to trick internet users into revealing confidential or personal information
    type of:
    cheat, rig, swindle
    the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme
  2. verb
    (offensive) deprive of by deceit
    synonyms: bunco, con, defraud, diddle, gip, goldbrick, hornswoggle, mulct, nobble, rook, short-change, swindle, victimize
    see moresee less
    short, short-change, shortchange
    cheat out of by giving back less money than is due to someone who has overpaid
    type of:
    cheat, chisel, rip off
    deprive somebody of something by deceit




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘scam'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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