scam

noun
\ˈskam \

Definition of scam 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation an insurance scam

scam

verb
scammed; scamming

Definition of scam (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

2 : to obtain (something, such as money) by a scam

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Other Words from scam

Verb

scammer noun

Synonyms for scam

Synonyms: Noun

bunco (or bunko), con, flimflam, fraud, gyp, hustle, sting, swindle

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Examples of scam in a Sentence

Noun

She was the victim of an insurance scam. a sophisticated credit card scam

Verb

The company scammed hundreds of people out of their life savings. I could tell they were scamming you and charging too much. They scammed a lot of money from unwary customers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For a full two months, Diana pretended everything was normal, that her little brother wasn’t trapped in an abusive psycho-spiritual prison by a misogynistic scam artist. Amelia Harnish, refinery29.com, ""At This Point We Are In Despair": One Woman's Quest To Bring Her Brother Home From NXIVM," 29 June 2018 Left at the dock and looking for a refund The owners of the house recognize that a scam artist — or ring — has seized on their address as a lucrative lure to the unsuspecting. Sean P. Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "Ripped off by phantom rentals on Craigslist," 23 June 2018 Derren Brown is a mentalist, illusionist, pop philosopher and debunker of scam-artists and mediums. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Derren Brown: Miracle’ Review: Deception on the Stage and Under the Steeple," 21 June 2018 Liberals aren’t without their own scam artists, as the proliferation of #TrumpRussia mythologists proves. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Grifters All the Way Down," 31 May 2018 In court filings, Manning and the team have denied the allegations and have characterized the lead plaintiff as a scam artist who has sold bogus memorabilia over the years. Art Stapleton, USA TODAY, "Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants reach settlement in memorabilia fraud lawsuit," 14 May 2018 Would robocallers, scam artists, and hackers start employing Duplex the better to dupe unwitting consumers? Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Deciding Whether To Fear or Celebrate Google's Mind-Blowing AI Demo," 10 May 2018 Pfleger's community isn't the only victim of the TIF scam. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics / Poverty / Race Father Pfleger, top cop Johnson, and a tinge of hope for the city’s future," 13 July 2018 Harper and her mom are still dealing with the fallout of the phone scam more than two weeks later. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "A scary phone scam targeting Anchorage residents involves fake kidnappings, ransom demands," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Business Email Compromise scams proliferate because more business is being done online, officials said. Lisa J. Huriash, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Feds arrest 23 in S. Florida business email scheme," 14 June 2018 Dow narrowly lost his re-election bid to council last fall, so he's been trying to scam his way back onto the public dole. Mark Naymik, cleveland.com, "CLE Chatter: Complaining costs Bay Village new library (for now); TJ Dow proves he's still deplorable; and other tidbits from our town," 27 Apr. 2018 In response, Panera Information Security Director Mike Gustavison accused Houlihan of trying to scam the company, according to screenshots of emails published by Houlihan in his blog post yesterday. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Panera accused security researcher of “scam” when he reported a major flaw," 3 Apr. 2018 These callers are often trying to scam us in some way. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "We got about a billion robocalls in Ohio last year. Yes, a billion.," 21 Mar. 2018 Or a pyramid scheme is like some entity that is intending to scam people by showing false returns that are based on new money coming in. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Chain CEO Adam Ludwin answers cryptocurrency questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 14 Mar. 2018 General Complaint, Forest Drive: A man reported on Feb. 10 that someone tried to scam him and his Facebook friends by posing as him on Face Book Messenger. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Residents report credit card and Facebook identity theft: Chagrin Falls police blotter," 15 Feb. 2018 Assist person, Mayfield Road: At 10:25 a.m. Dec. 30, police received a report from Pet Taxi and Grooming Spa, 5351 Mayfield Road, that someone fraudulently used the business's address to scam a woman online. Jeff Piorkowski/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Man who used declined credit card brought back to restaurant to pay: Lyndhurst police blotter," 2 Jan. 2018 Often, these pros scam more than one person at a time. Max B. Baker, star-telegram, "They seemed like nice men. Then they stole her money and her confidence," 18 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scam.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scam

Noun

1963, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scam

Noun

origin unknown

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Statistics for scam

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scam

The first known use of scam was in 1963

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More Definitions for scam

scam

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people

scam

verb

English Language Learners Definition of scam (Entry 2 of 2)

: to deceive and take money from (someone)

: to get (something, such as money) by deceiving someone

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Comments on scam

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