a confidence game

a confidence game

A method of inspiring someone's trust and then deceiving them. Don't fall for Tony's sad story—he's known for playing confidence games.
See also: confidence, game
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

confidence game

Also, confidence trick; con game. A swindle in which the victim is defrauded after his or her trust has been won. For example, The police warned of a confidence game in which people were asked to turn over valuables for a so-called appraisal , or The typical confidence trick is easy to spot if you know what to look for, or I almost let myself be taken in by her con game-she seemed so sincere. These terms, which use confidence in the sense of "trust," date from the mid-1800s. They also gave rise to confidence man (or con man) for the swindler.
See also: confidence, game
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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