An email list I read is about words and their origins. "Scam" just came up. I'm surprised to see how recent it is -- the OED's earliest citation is 1963, and researchers on the list haven't found anything before 1959 or so.
I searched the electronic Phoenix, and it isn't used there (although escamoteur is -- maybe that's where it comes from). Is anyone aware of any earlier citations in the magic literature?
Chris Wasshuber -- would it be a big deal to search your pre-1960 ebooks for the word?