scam

1 of 2

noun

: a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation
an insurance scam

scam

2 of 2

verb

scammed; scamming; scams

transitive verb

1
: to deceive and defraud (someone)
… the law firm had got the lucrative job of defending the corporate head of a savings and loan that had scammed another thousand or so people out of their savings …Joseph Wambaugh
2
: to obtain (something, such as money) by a scam
A Boston hedge fund manager who scammed millions of dollars from friends, family and other investors in what authorities say was a Ponzi scheme has been sent to prison for more than 14 years.The Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The information obtained through the skimming device and phishing scams can be embedded into fraudulent cards or used to make online purchases. Kaitlyn Pohly, Hartford Courant, 11 July 2024 Margolin based the story on his own grandma, Thelma, who was targeted in a similar scam but fortunately escaped unscathed. Ew Staff Published, EW.com, 11 July 2024
Verb
Listen to this article Loading your audio article A pair of Queens men convicted of conspiring to scam the taxi dispatch system at Kennedy Airport will go to prison for charging drivers to skip the line. Molly Crane-Newman, New York Daily News, 12 Feb. 2024 Then the callers attempt to scam the customer into making a payment, installing questionable software, or taking some other potentially harmful action. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for scam 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scam.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

origin unknown

First Known Use

Noun

1958, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of scam was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near scam

Cite this Entry

“Scam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scam. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

scam

noun
ˈskam
: a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation
lost $500 in a business scam
scam verb
Etymology

Noun

origin unknown

More from Merriam-Webster on scam

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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