Welcome to issue 9 of Mapforum.Com.

The period since the last issue has been a hectic time for the London trade.  In December there was the usual round of auction sale, crammed into a frenetic two week period, followed by a large sale at Sotheby's in Milan.  Once this had all passed by, there was the Christmas festivities, closely followed by the New Year (Millenial? - or will the same hou-ha all recur again next year?) celebrations.

The World Wide Web provides enormous opportunities for those who use it but also, as one can only expect, for those who wish to misuse it.  In Britain recently there have been several high-profile cases about pornography.  An area that has received a lot less publicity is the use of the web for fraud.  As more and more companies seek to use the Internet to conduct business this is a worrying situation.

Within the map world, Barry Lawrence Ruderman, one of the advertisers in MapForum.Com,  found that an "enterprising" fraudster in Russia had duplicated his web-site, offering over 500 maps, with Barry's words, images and even spelling mistakes, at prices well below market value, requesting banker's draft with order.  Obviously, the fraudster does not have the maps.

The British Antiquarian Booksellers' Association has also warned of a scam, also being operated from Russia, whereby books are offered at advantageous prices, with the seller requiring an up-front 50% deposit before despatching the books.  Obviously, the books don't turn up, nor does the deposit.

Obviously when dealing with someone the other side of the world "Caveat emptor" refers more to the people than the product.

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