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Romance scams will cost you

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It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. Last year, people reported losing $143 million to romance scams – a higher total than for any other type of scam reported to the FTC. And, according to a new FTC Data Spotlight, reports of romance scams are on the rise.

What do we mean by romance scams? We’re not talking about the person you thought was “the one” but ended up being a dud. We’re talking about people you meet online, who lavish you with attention … and then ask for money. Usually they want the money by wire transfer or gift card. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you. Then they take your money, but there’s no surgery and no trip.

Romance scammers are hard at work wooing people on dating apps and social media. They may lift photos to create an attractive profile or even steal the identity of a real person. Just like with real romances, it may take them some time to gain your trust, but the scammer’s payoff can be big. Last year, people reported a median loss of $2,600 from romance scams.

How can you avoid romance scams?

  • Never send money or gifts to a sweetheart you haven’t met in person.
  • Take it slowly. Ask questions and look for inconsistent answers. Check the person’s photo using your search engine’s “search by image” feature. If the same picture shows up with a different name, that’s a red flag.
  • Talk to someone about this new love interest. And pay attention if your friends or family are concerned.
  • If you suspect a romance scam, cut off contact right away. Then, report to the scam to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Notify the dating site where you met the scammer, too.

For more information, read Online Dating Scams or watch this video:

 

Scam Tags:  Romance Scams

Comments

Please stop your mother in law. This is a similar scam that I fell for. They insert you into crisis by helping with their online bank account that eventually shuts down leaving them stranded in Cyprus needing to pay tax. Long Story.

Harry Thomas? Gary Shepherd, James G Dare?

Scammer found me on Words with Friends. Because it was not an online dating site, I thought the contact was probably innocent. Asked me to join him in hangout. Scammer's MO: Widower with 10-year-old daughter. Daughter lives in Miami Beach with nanny. Wife died four years ago. He said he was working on an old rig with no access to his checking account or credit card. Needs to spend months at sea to complete a contract. Depending on who was playing the role of "Bobby" that day (I believe the job rotated among several people), the messages would be long vows of eternal love and marriage. He/they would text me all day and late into the night. Even had his/their "daughter" texting me almost all day, every day. A different crisis every week.The "daughter" angle was what hooked me in. Requests for various cards in order to help "daughter". Sometimes the requests bordered on demanding. Finally, did a reverse photo search and found all the photos (about 4-5) that he sent me of "him" were actually photos of a different man living in L.A. And those same photo were being used by different scammers using different names. Now "James (Bobby) Roberto" is blocked from my Words with Friends and my email account. I deleted the hangout app altogether. In the last email I received, he was hinting at suicide because I had blocked him. Much of this I shared yesterday, but perhaps this will help someone else to avoid the mistakes and errors in judgment I made. I wish I had known about reverse image searching a month ago.

Our time dating site have 2 scammers Ethan Dickerson and Butleron Williams. Ethan posed as a construction engineer living in Dubai because he lost his wallet in a taxi and he is not allowed to leave until he pays his employees $5k. He post photos of his 13 years old son. His wife died of cancer. He would send you poems very romantic. He is looking to get married. He doesn't sleep around. He will insult you if u don't send him money. I have his photos. Butleron Williams is from Georgia but he is really from Netherlands. He is supposed rich due to his gold business. He is dying in a dead ship in the Scandinavian Ocean where Shell Oil and Gas company left him. He will ask you $20,000 to transfer $300,000 from his account to your which is scam also $1k-3,000 to open an account for u to transfer his money. All scam. He will tell u that he adore, cherish, love you for ever Angel. He uses a photo of a girl and a boy, both men are widowers. Both liars and scammers. I have their photos and I would like to post them.

Has any 1 got scammed by a guy named medoune Diouf. From Senegal. But now he lives in Morocco.. in Africa. Please. let me know. Thank. you

has anyone been targeted by a very good looking man on Instagram andie_moore3000? Says he lives in Birmingham Uk.......very suspicious

Does anyone know a man named Pedro Johnson from Columbus, Ohio? Middle Eastern , very fit?

I have information on bank accounts scammers gave me. Wish someone cared enough to check on this as they must’ve been running money through them. Maybe FBI?

Never really thought I would be posting a comment here, but given how "good" the story I was told and the players in it, I have certainly been had. I suppose I want to warn others of this duo so that they also don't fall victim to their fraudulent activity. David Harrow, who I met on CMB and Angie (Angela Walthrop) (BFF of David) claim that they have been friends since they went to uni together. "Clint" is also in the picture as Angela's husband. They are David's "best friends." David claimed to have moved to Chicago two years ago for a job and was transitioning to Atlanta. He was a widower who lost his wife and daughter in car accident 8 years ago. David was in the geology industry and semi-retired. He claims to have previously worked for Lucara, and Petra. He claimed that his mother died on Monday, January 27 and then flew her home to Southampton, England for the burial services. Prior to this he let me know that he was going to be traveling to the UAE for a client to make a mineral acquisition however, the details were still being worked out. While he was in England plans for the UAE trip were finalized. It was supposed to be a short trip, possibly 4 days. I received an email from his best friend, who I also had communications with prior. She let me know that she and her husband had not heard from him upon his return to England and that this was out of character. She was inquiring if I had heard anything. She let me know she would keep me abreast of the situation and the following day she let me know that "David" contacted her and her husband. He had been caught up in Customs because he did not have the proper paperwork for an acquisition that he made. The following day I finally heard from David himself. He sent an email letting me know what had happened and provided a UAE Customs document that detailed why he was being detained. It stated that he did not have the legal clearance certificate therefore his travel documents were being held and that he needed to pay a government fine. If he did not, the consignment would be confiscated by customs and he could potentially have a trial. He stated that the fine was £93,500. He claimed to have been able to put together about £88,000 on short notice, but still need about £5,300. He inquired if I would be able to help with $4,500. I was hesitant by the request, but given the document that he shared, some research I did on the internet and talking to him on the phone, I agreed to send $2,500. He told me his lawyer said the best way to do this would be a money order deposited into a SunTrust account of a man named Edi Ade. Upon receiving the funds, he would be released to return back to England. He was “released” on Friday evening and returned to England on Saturday, February 15. I communicated with him for 5 more days and then he went silent. His friend, Angie also went silent when I reached out to her. The cell number that she gave to me was called by a friend who lives in the UK and he let me know that it looks like a normal UK mobile/cell number, but when dialled it was an automated message in an American accent saying “I’m sorry, but this number is not in service.” The number she shared was 44-7537127359. Sharing all this in hopes no one else gets scammed by these two. Unconscionable to me what people do and hope that karma will take care of them in the end.

So tonight I just realized that I was scammed. His name was Geoffrey Britton and he said he was 34 years old. He started immediately wooing me with his fancy drawings, poems and other things on Facebook. Soon we switched to chatting on hangouts. He claimed to be a marine in Pakistan who was there on a mission. After a few weeks of chatting and wooing he asked for my bank info. At first I said no but he convinced me that my info would be safe with him and that his account was frozen and he could only make internal transfers. He also said that he would be arrested if he didn’t get money to fund his project. So I gave him both my credit and debit card accounts to use. He paid off my current debt to thank me. Today, he asked for steam gift cards and I happily searched many stores to buy $2950 worth of cards to send to him. Idk why I did it, I’m just a pushover person who was wanting to be loved and I thought he really cared and I always want to help those in need. So after realizing what I’ve done. I called him out on it and he tried to make me feel bad for doing this. I have now cancelled all my cards and requested brand new ones and have changed passwords and usernames on everything. I know this person will message me again tomorrow. Should I block them? Also, did I do enough to protect my accounts from taking further hits?

William Grant. The name of someone who doesn't exist, who is about to ruin my mums' world. My mum won't listen to me any longer about the idea of the money she's being transferred as a scam. She wants me to trust someone I haven't met and however, claims I will meet in two months. This will not happen.
She was too vulnerable when the scammer messaged her and thus gained her trust too easily. Now she's made the worst mistake in her life and hasn't realised it yet. I've done all I can but she will only get mad at me for doubting her. This is what scamming does. please beware.

William Grant, American, works on an oil-rig company. I believe his story would most likely be that he is divorced and runs a successful business. My mum is right now, trusting him for money that doesn't exist. But not only that, a man who does not exist. my heart breaks for her. The debt she will be put in... is too much for her, and the stress I know she will endure after this...

I hope more women become aware of scammers and how easily they can fool you when you're in a state of vulnerability.

I came here looking to see if the situations sounded like what is happening to my mom and I swear it's exactly the same. I know that after my stepdad went into a nursing home she has gotten scammed out of almost $100K of his money, borrowed thousands from friends and family, and is now try to see his house. The house that is supposed to be left to her great granddaughter. All because this "Anthony Braxton" loves her and wants to spend his millions with her....after she helps free him from his UN contract. She literally believes every word this scammer says. I have shown her proof and she will not listen. I don't know what to do anymore. She is willing to turn her back on everyone in her family for this "true love".
I am so sorry that this is happening to everyone. I wish there was a way to put an end to it all. Good luck to everyone.

Can I ask what name the scammer used?

Anyone been contacted by some "doctor" in Yemen via Facebook going by the name "Henryson Ajibola"? This yahoo is trying to connect with me on my page. His profile has SCAM written all over it.

Has anyone been contacted by Terry Harbin ?? He claims to be a mechanical engineer living in Los Angeles and currently in Tanzania doing a contract for shell oil. Asked for $1500;which I did not send. Took down facebook page and hangout account

He took down his facebook account and hangout when I refused to send him money

He took down his facebook page and closed hangout when I refused to send him money. His writing style is very different between hangout and emails. Poor grammar in hangout, excellent grammar on emails which suggests 2 different people are sending the messages

My mother thinks her love is coming home to her, always the day after she gets paid And he never shows. My mother will not stop sending him money. Does anyone know a Stuart James ?

Watch out for Kingsley Daniels, Atom Dermot or Dermot Atom (welovedermot) on IG. As Kingsley Daniels, he claims that he’s a 45 year old Marine Engineer from Connecticut. Said he lost his wife in a car accident ( he was driving) that caused his 11 year old son to suffer a traumatic brain injury.

I figured something was wrong when an ENGINEER asked me to help him with some simple math problems. I’m talking about simple addition and multiplication problems.

I cannot begin to list the items he wanted me to purchase for him, his son, the in-laws that were taking care of his son while he was out at sea, and lastly, his diabetic, ill, aging, widowed mother. Not to mention straight up cold hard cash. Thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. To be sent to a port in Nigeria via Western Union.

Not only can I do math, I can spell SCAM!

There was a girl on this dating site called Plenty of Fish posing as a Medic in the U.S. Army. In real life a lot of these women have become Heroes earning the Silver Star... so I became very interested until one day I thought to myself I need to check this out to see if this person is real. It was a crushing blow to find out that she was fake. I had not gave any money yet but was ready to so. Still it's all a big disappointment and it makes me angry.

My first interaction with this kind of scam was on a dating app. Met a guy in my area who was a widowed engineer with a kid. Would only chat via Hangouts and tried to speed things up really fast before even meeting and that's what tipped me off. So finally I said let's meet and he went dark after that. Then there have been two other men on social media who DMd me with practically the same story, they are so not original lol. I can't believe this works on people.

This also sounds like"my guy". Says he's from New York but had been working as am engineer in Turkey. Has 13 yr old daughter and 14 yr old son that needs a mom. They stay with their vietnamese nanny. His wife died 6 yrs ago of lung cancer. Says he has grown up in the U.S. but speaks broken English. After one game of Words with friends, he laid on the charm and have quickly escalated the amorous context. Fortunately he had not asked for anything yet. I will l NOT send anything, no matter what he insists our the sob story. Says he is almost 50 yrs old. Edwardo Smith. And insisted I sign up and communicate with him through hangouts. Sound familiar to anyone?

I met someone on line who has sweet talked me into giving him some money. He is supposedly working in Turkey had an accident at the site he was working on with two men hospitalized. he can't access his US account so he needed funds up front. He says he is fro Finland his wife died six years ago daughter in Australia. Does this ring any bells with anyone?

Anyone know a guy named Williams George Aton? I feel he is a scammer too.

I have one person willing to pay for me to come to Berlin Germany. And I'm not sure if a scammer would do this. And I don't know what to think.

What is it with being an engineer in these scams? My scammer “was” an engineer, but needed my help in doing simple, 3-digit number addition! My 3rd grader can do that in his head! Anyways, that’s what tipped me off that something was amiss.

Has anyone been in contact with a man named Brian Moore? Claims to be an engineer working in Russia on infrastructure. Im very concerned for my friend who I believe he is scamming.

my MIL is in a huge scam with a Bryson Moore seems to be a common last name they used. Do you have photos of scammer?

I have a lady on a social media site who wants my cell phone carrier name and my account details!! She said she wa to order a new phone!! Please tell me the whole gist of this scam!! Not the first time a lady has asked for this info about my cell carrier

Has anyone had any dealings with a Henry Odidiko? He's been talking to my wife about a month now and I think he's up to no good. Actually that they're in a relationship. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Has anyone heard of David Gregor? Claims to be an army surgeon deployed in Syria. I have been talking with him a couple of months after meeting him on FaceBook. Widower with 2 adopted boys 8 and 9 from New York. He had plenty of pictures of himself, boys and home. Yes he moved fast with the wooing. A couple of days ago he wanted me to buy him an airline ticket so he could take care of personal business in England. Claimed his bank there is closing down and he had to transfer his Million Dollars . He was going to continue on to the states to meet me and see his boys. There were several things that sent off bells with me. He claims to be a specialist in Urology. I have a kidney disease that is unusual and under a care of urologist. He was unfamiliar with the disease. One of the top ones that sent off waning signs....... yesterday he suggested I send him 1420.00 for airline ticket. (which I was never going to do anyway) . testing him I asked about Western Union. He asked me what that was!!! Hmmm After that I told him not to contact me again. I blocked him on texting, but he has started msging me on Messenger and even calling. Begging me .I do not answer. Well one thing I thought strange... isn't travel abroad banned during this coronavirus scare???
He is an older white male saying he is 58, blue eyes and grey hair. (he even sent me pics of his passport and birth certificate.) Birth certificate looked recently made. I tried a reverse search on his phone number. Comes back to Asian name located close to NY but totally different address. When I searched his name and parents names from birth certificate I was unable to find anything. As if he doesn't exist. Just curious if anyone else has any experience with someone like him.
Luckily I haven't been scammed out of anything, just my time.

Oh one other thing. Very religious, quotes Scriptures and says he belongs to the Potters House Church pastor T D Jakes.

Man with very sexy accent. Said he's Croatian lives in your area. Lived in San Francisco 20 years. Anyone have a scenario leaves your area to go to NYC then Cyprus? You help him with his bank account bc of bad internet. You help move his money to transfer into accounts for building materials for his hotel. Then materials get held up in Seaport customs and you help again pay the exorbitant tax by making another another transfer but then the bank account closes and message appears stating "Please contact customer service to reactivate online banking" They can't get their money from account due to needing to be in person to present finger bioscan and other proof of identity. He can't leave Cyprus bc customs took his passport until he pays the rest of the tax balance. He sends a letter of the issue looking official from Customs. He needs money. If he gets money the con continues as he is arrested at the airport due to Turkish Govt wanting the tax for the Construction site. He's being detained at the airport so they give him his phone at times to continue to contact you. It's endless....

Parts of this sound familiar. Cyprus, Seaport issue and stopped at airport from leaving at as he needs to pay bills off and money needed as he overstayed time on visa. What name did he use?

I scared I met this guy on a dating site everything seemed legit. So we were talking and after a few day he asked me to go on another app Whatsup. Well we were talking for about 3 months almost 4 and yes we did face talk 1 time for 5 sec because we could not talk I was at work and could not hear him. Anyway he was asking for pictures so me not being shy I sent them. Just this past week he was asking for money to get to the states. He was a Dr working for Red Cross thru Germany Nicklaus Michaelson. I did send him money $200.00, nothing else it did not feel right. So now he is threatening me with putting my pictures on social media if I do not give him $700.00 day midnight tonight.
I am so scarred those pictures would get to my family and friends. I still have an active phone number he keeps texting me from.

Scammed by a man claiming to be a geophysicist by the name of Dennis Thompson. Says he is from Barbados but accent difficult to trace. Has sketchy Linkedin and Facebook with one pic, no friends, no comments. Uses the same script as the rest of the scammers. Said he lived in Austin but conveniently had to go to middle east for “oil and gas” project on the day we were supposed to meet. Showed fake itinerary and work permit. Says all family is dead but his mother.

Sends love poems he swears he writes on his own. When you google them half are written by someone else. Always knows the right thing to say (until corona hit). Tries to sway the conversation to lovey dovey or sexual things when things get too deep. Communication has drastically changed since coronavirus.

I just joined twitter in Jan, no picture in my profile or any info about me. Started getting messages from a guy, said he was in Houston Texas. Wanted me to get on a chatting app , I wouldn’t . Wanted me to send him a picture via email. I wouldn’t. Said he has lived here for twenty years , from Italy, his wife divorced him and he came with his son. Then said he was in a car accident and son died, he broke his leg and out of work for 8 mos, later he said three months, I asked how old his son was he said 15, so how could he have brought his son with him twenty years ago? Also says he works with Mediterranean shipping company, and is just going back to work and needs to get to Bahamas, didn’t ask for money. Then gets there supposedly, and said he needs a beneficiary, and would I sign for him. I said no. I am feeling like this is a scam.

Just curious..has anyone met someone on WWF that claims they do something with yachts? Was just in Dubai. Deal gone bad ...needs money ...noone to help?? Originally from Ireland ..but lives in WV?? Will call and videochat ...but has an accent..not Irish though.

Hi everyone!Was a guy located himself in Cyprus military base.well photos are all of some soldier a divorced father suddenly was sent to Afghanistan.Of course he had some issue he asked me to sort out.the worst part the made his fake story about my favorite thing in the world.i believed the lies even it was lot of red flags.last all my money.Turkey was involved with the situation also.from interpol no reply yet.the guy is trackable and the person who picked up the money has the same name as one wanted person.i dont know what to do anymore.who else to contact.any advice please?thank u

Has anyone here had any contact with a man off Instagram with the username daividscott?

He added me and while chatting he told me he is originally from Greece, but living in West Virginia USA, but is working in Turkey for a private company. He tells me he lost his wife in a car accident many years ago and has a 15 yr old daughter who lives with him.

Has anyone had any contact with such a person, if so I'd love to hear from you
I'm smelling scammer a million miles away!

I met a guy named Chris Sebastien.. by he likes to be called Chris Bastian... lives in San Francisco from Germany... no siblings...no kids... met him on chatous... found him on tender singles I asked hin about it... he said im his queen... that his ex cheated on him and ran away with his money and he has a business but he doesnt have an account due to all mess her ex id... he suddenly said his phone broke cam doesnt work... I got 2 pictures only... and I have his phone number

Whats his number?

Hi, there’s a guy I met in Instagram, his a medical doctor and even has a photos on it, a dad of a 3 year old son. A physiotherapist in Manchester UK but by blood his a Italian as he says. And plus he has a another hospital in Atlanta Georgia called Emory. But if you search lots are Emory clinic there and no one Dr Lewiston registered though.
He wanted to come to Manila by following month. And what he wanted is to have a house first before he came and a car. So he likes to send money to my bank account. Or if not. He wanted to received his luggage with his stuff and money.

So please let me know how this person can do stupid stuff against to me. Or how does scammers will do such a thing on that plan.
Kindly give me some idea please. But I still don’t send any of my personal info even my real name . Only my number coz he chatted me in WhatsApp ; telling and falling me for a week .
I need to figure it out then.

Thank you in advance for the help.

Best regards

Has an Albert Greger contacted anyone? I do think a fake picture of a handsome man is being used. He is writing nice ly but I just do not trust him.

I believe I a also being scammed and have thought so since the day I starting chatting with this guy, but decided to ser how far it went before he asked me for something. He said he was from Chicago and gave a Chicago phone number but wanted to chat using WhatsApp. I work for a law firm so immediately went to work on researching his name, which he goes by Davis Morris. I couldn't find anything except for a Facebook page which matched the picture he sent to me. I still proceeded but knew something was up because he immediately proclaimed his love and that I was going to his wife. He said he was an Orthopedic Surgeon working under contract for the UN. Now I was really becoming guarded. First if you are a real doctor you would show up on the website healthgrades.com or vitals.com and he did not. He claimed he had a 14 year old son named Kelly and that he told Kelly all about me and he was excited that we were going to be a family. I proceeded (guards up) and played along just to see how long it would take. Well he finally asked tonight. He asked me to go and get a gift card or game card called Steam because he wanted to load it on his phone. I knew it. I said ok but I'm not crazy, I will do no such thing. First of all if you are a surgeon and working under contract for the UN (which by the way I don't believe the UN hires people under contract), then you shouldn't need my money at all. I have his picture and pictures of the so called house he claims to have purchased before going to Yemen in case anyone thinks they may have run into this same idiot! Beware and be careful!

Met someone on a dating site claiming he worked for the UN I was lonely and fell for him believing everything he told me. In total he got me for 2200.00 before finding out he was on other sites using different names one being a doctor using the man's photos which he said were his but the doctor stole them. I broke off contact with him and now he has gotten a new number and is trying to lay a guilt trip on me saying I broke his heart and he is contemplating suicide and it is on me if anything happens to him. He has used the names George Wilson, Michael William's, Henneck, Karim Harati, Johnson Young, and Johnson that I know of. Anyone contacted by this man look out.

I've been writing back & forth w/a General James Williams, on contract w/NATO in Yemen.
He said he's been a widow for 7 yrs, has a 16 y/o son, Gavin, who was in a boarding school in San Francisco, CA. Gavin is on vacation in Russia.
James has asked for steam cards x 5, for internet communication to his son & myself.
Various comments & incorrect wording have me questioning.
We have video chatted, he's sent me pics of himself, they are almost identical.
I asked him if he liked to grill. He sent me a pic of him cooking pancakes on a gas grill.
I still don't know if he's a scammer.
He gave me an email address to write to requesting emergency leave to come to me, in VA, then send for his son in Russia to come live w/us. He has sent me a pic of Gavin, plus of himself in combat fatigues.
When I got the reply it said I had to pay $12,800 to UN/USA for my requesting James' urgent leave request. He got very adamant, saying I had to pay it, didn't I love him & son enough to do this so we could be a family??
I don't have that kind of $$ laying around...
I could go on...
I did research, No $$ is required for military leave...
Most of his info is legit, but not this request...
Help me, please...
I feel like such an idiot & a fool.

Hi. I met someone who was in the US but now in Turkey. . He professed his love right away. Heavy accent but I can’t figure it out. Born in New Zealand. Anyone experience this. Supposedly he lives in Philadelphia...

I have been of and on dating sites couple yrs now. Widow for 6yrs. Lost over $80,000. To a man who was madly in love,, boy was i taken in big time.
So like a fool i tried other dating sites. My first clue now is they ask for iTunes card and yes i helped, but as soon as you get one card,they want more money for other things.
The latest one, not sure if its a scam or not, but when you get that gut feeling. Twice now two different dating sites. They have to travel over seas to buy whatever,but then they can't activate their cards. So they ask if they gave me their acct number could I acctivate it for them.. definitely does not sound right for some reason.. especially if you have never met in person..
Some where, some how, God has a plan.
I

I have a man that has been contacting me for 2 weeks. He’s a doctor who works on a Cruise Ship. Barely has “friends” he’s an “only child”, and just went back to work since the COVID-19 situation and needs me to buy an iTunes gift card for him so he can top up his data. I am an iPhone user. I am sure you top up data by going through your provider. He claims to have a 7 year old daughter. Divorced. Been “baby” this and “baby” that. Told me he loved me less than a week after we had been talking and now is telling me he won’t be in Poland until new Week Tuesday. Also Greek/Turkish. Originally from Cyprus. He currently lives in Canada, from what he says...super handsome. We’ve video chat on several occasions....disappointing, but I’m pretty sure he’s a scammer at this point.

There's this guy who uses the name Frank Muller who claims to be 60 years old.Says his 16 yr old daughter is in private school in uk.He says he was born and raised in germany.He claims he's got immunity and he's not a doctor but like a vet that is under contract to find exotic animals.Hes supposedly got 3 of the 4 animals.Found the 4th a rare white lion but now is stuck in Egypt needing 3000 dollars to get on a ship with the lion and travel six weeks to the Dominican republic to get paid.Has anyone heard from this guy?

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