Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
US carnival slang. Possibly from scamp (“swindler, cheater”)
The word "scam" became common use among the US "drug culture" in early 1980 after Operation ABSCAM, an FBI sting operation directed at public officials, became public.
scam (plural scams)
- Fraudulent deal.
- That marketing scheme looks like a scam to me.
- con (verb):
to defraud or embezzle