a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
verb (used with object), scammed, scamming.
to cheat or defraud with a scam.

1960–65; orig. carnival argot; of obscure origin

scammer, noun

scam, scan. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scam (skæm)
1.  a stratagem for gain; a swindle
vb , scams, scamming, scammed
2.  (tr) to swindle (someone) by means of a trick

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1963, n. and v., U.S. slang, a carnival term, of unknown origin. Perhaps related to 19c. British slang scamp "cheater, swindler" (see scamp (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

scam definition

  1. n.
    a swindle; a hustle. : I lost a fortune in that railroad scam.
  2. tv.
    to swindle someone; to deceive someone. : They were scammed by a sweet-talking southern lady who took all their money.
  3. in.
    to seek out and pick up young women, said of males. (Collegiate.) : Bob was out scamming last night and ran into Clare.
  4. in.
    to copulate. : All you ever want to do is scam.
  5. in.
    to fool around and waste time. : Quit scamming and get busy.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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