This issue of JIS contains two papers that address how virtual business environments might advance research and practice in the areas of fraud investigation and prevention (i.e., Dilla et al. 2013; Pickard et al. 2013). The common “virtual” feature across the two papers is the involvement of avatars, or electronic images that represent participants in a virtual space. The definition and usage of avatars across the two papers is quite different, however. Dilla et al. (2013) define an avatar as a representation through which virtual world participants “inhabit” virtual spaces to interact and carry out transactions with others. The focus in this paper is not so much on the avatars themselves, but on the rules set by each virtual world proprietor that define how a user's avatar is allowed to interact with other participants, and how these rules may or may not facilitate fraudulent behavior. Pickard et...

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