- a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
verb (used with object), scammed, scam·ming.
- to cheat or defraud with a scam.
- a stratagem for gain; a swindle
verb scams, scamming or scammed
- (tr) to swindle (someone) by means of a trick
1963, noun and verb, U.S. slang, a carnival term, of unknown origin. Perhaps related to 19c. British slang scamp “cheater, swindler” (see scamp (n.)).