Virtual communities provide a suitable environment for those willing to deceive. With a large audience there are many potential targets and many opportunities. The narrow communication channel helps in being intentionally misunderstood, while also maintaining relative obscurity. This research analyzes deception in virtual communities, based on principles of transactional analysis. Transactional analysis suggests that people deceive others in order to prove their superiority, and that the deceptive communication follows distinct patterns. An analysis of communications in one community, the Leica Users Group, found communication behaviors consistent with those predicted by transactional analysis. The article investigates these communications in detail. It also proposes methods for detection and prevention of this type of deception.