Confidence Game Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Confidence Game, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Confidence Game?

the act of obtaining money from people by fraudulent means after gaining his trust and then cheating or defrauding him/her.

History and Meaning of Confidence Game

The term "confidence game" is believed to have originated in the United States in the mid-1800s during the era of westward expansion. It was used to describe the methods employed by fraudulent individuals to swindle people out of their money or property by gaining their trust or confidence. The con artist, also known as the “grifter,” typically fabricates a story to convince their victim to hand over their assets.

The confidence game is often characterized by the perpetrator's ability to create a false sense of security or familiarity with their victim. This technique is used to persuade the victim to part with their money or other valuables. It is sometimes referred to as a "long con" because it requires an investment of time and effort to establish a relationship of trust with the victim.

Examples of Confidence Game

  1. A man posing as a bank manager calls a customer and tells them that there is a problem with their account. He asks the customer to provide their account number and social security number over the phone, claiming that he needs this information to resolve the issue. The man then uses the victim's personal information to gain unauthorized access to their account.
  2. A woman approaches an elderly person in a parking lot and tells them that she needs money to buy gas to get back to her hometown where her father is dying. The elderly person agrees to give the woman the money, but the woman disappears with the cash.
  3. A contractor offers to do repair work on a house for a low price. The homeowner agrees, and the contractor requests payment upfront for the materials. The contractor never returns to do the work and keeps the money for themselves.

Legal Terms Similar to Confidence Game

  1. Fraud: The obtaining of money or property by false representation or the misrepresentation of a past or present fact.
  2. Embezzlement: The fraudulent taking of property that has been entrusted to a person.
  3. Identity theft: The stealing of an individual's personal information for the purpose of committing fraud or other illegal activities.
  4. Ponzi scheme: A type of investment fraud in which returns are paid to earlier investors using the capital contributed by newer investors.
  5. Pyramiding: A fraudulent multilevel marketing scheme where participants are promised profits for recruiting more people into the program rather than from the sale of actual goods or services.