I heard a women described as "una estafa" in Spanish (from Spain) and my translation is roughly "a fraud". So, beyond being a fraud, does the speaker mean anything else in regards to her deceptiveness, her sneakiness, her personality, or motivation? I am just trying to gauge whether the comment was made as an observation or more strongly as a criticism. Thanks.
I would say that when you refer to a person, male or female, as "una estafa" is merely because you think that person is not how you think he/she was in the first place or how that person was described to you initially. I believe this kind of talking refers to criticism regarding personality.
Bear in mind that this doesn't mean, IMO, that the person is a scammer or a con man / woman. In that case you would use "es un(a) estafador(a)".