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October 17, 2022

Flimflam / noun, verb / flim·​flam

Have you ever been the victim of an online scam where you lost money to a scammer? If so, you were probably subjected to flimflam tactics these scammers often use to try to cheat people out of their hard-earned money.

We use the word flimflam as a noun to describe deceptive nonsense or confidence tricks where people are scammed. It is also used as a transitive verb to describe the action.

The definition of flimflam is a confidence trick. A confidence trick is a deliberate act or scheme designed to cheat someone out of their money or property.

People who engage in confidence tricks are often called frauds. Fraudsters can be anyone from a street hustler to a financial advisor.

In a Sentence

The hot dog scam is a flimflam scam that involves selling fake hot dogs on the street. The fraudster will sell you a hot dog for $1 and then ask you to pay for it with money that you didn't actually bring with you.

Ponzi schemes are types of flimflam scams in which the fraudsters promise high returns on investment to attract new investors.

In flimflam scams, goods never materialize, and the victims end up losing all their money.


Etymologists believe the word flimflam appeared in the English language around 1540. They also say we probably derived the word from a Scandinavian term that means "to deceive or cheat." English speakers still use the word flimflam today to describe people engaging in nefarious actions like online scams or Ponzi schemes.


Gimmick, Rip off


Sincerity, Fairness



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