dot con artist
(dawt.CAWN ar.tist) n. A person who runs an Internet-based scam or fraud. Also: dot-con artist, artist.

Example Citation:
"This collaboration with law enforcement agencies, industry and consumers will create a climate where e-commerce can be conducted with confidence," said the FTC's Bernstein. "We want the dot con artists to know that we're building a consumer protection coalition that spans the globe."
—Christine Winter, "U.S. Takes Aim at Fraud," Sun-Sentinel, November 1, 2000

Earliest Citation:
Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ... [c]urbs poaching of trademarked names for Internet addresses and imposes $100,000 fine on "dot-con artists" who profiteer.
—Elizabeth Wasserman, "Score Another Round for the Internet Industry," The Industry Standard, December 6, 1999

This phrase combines dot com with con artist, short for confidence artist (or confidence man), a person who runs a confidence game where the victim is defrauded after his or her confidence has been won. The frauds perpetrated by don con artists are called dot cons. Here's a slightly earlier citation that uses includes a dot for some reason:

—Matthew Benjamin, "Targeting Dot.Con Artists," Investor's Business Daily, August 11, 1999

Related Words: