I get e-mail from MI-6 (a hoax, no doubt)

August 28, 2011

How many different forms can this scam take?   Is anyone taken in by it anymore?

FUND BENEFIT (LIAISON OF BRITISH GOVERNMENT)
From:
BRITISH SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (MI6) LONDON. <sis@ukgov.uk>
To: edarrell@obladeeobladah.uk.org

Office of the British Secret Intelligence Service Mi6
P.O Box 1300,Vauxhall – London SE1 1BD – United Kingdom.
Website: http://www.sis.gov.uk/output/sis-home-welcome.html
S.I.S Ref: LN/mi6/SIS/XX027

Dear Beneficiary,

BRITISH JURISDICTIONAL FUND LETTER:

As Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) also known as Mi6, SIS provides the British Government with a global covert capability to promote and defend the national security and economic well-being of the United Kingdom. Regional instability, Financial Frauds, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and illegal narcotics are among the major challenges of the 21st century. SIS assists the government to meet these challenges. To do this effectively SIS must protect the secrets of its sources and methods.

http://www.sis.gov.uk/output/sis-home-welcome.html

In regards to Legislation and accountability, SIS like other British intelligence and security agencies, is subject to parliamentary, ministerial, judicial and financial oversight. Oversight is based on two pieces of UK legislation, the intelligence services Act 1994 (I.S.A) and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (R.I.P.A).

With notice, SIS has litigated a group of apprehended UK-based multimillionaire financial fraudsters who dubiously perpetrated fraudulent acts with first degree ulterior motives against you through your e-mail over the internet in the United Kingdom.

By court order, prior to 12 years prison sentence charged upon them by the Lord Chief Justice and President of the Courts of England and Wales (R.H, The Lord Judge: Igor Judge, Baron Judge), the culprits were placed on a bail by way of compensation to you in a sum of 2,350,000 (Two million, three hundred and fifty thousand British Pounds Sterling) in lieu of British International Fundamental Human Rights Ordinances of 1997, of which your benefited fund has been brought in cash to our Head Office by the culprits’ Legal councils prior to their inception of jail term.

Click on your ”REPLY” to contact the British Secret Intelligence (MI6) Chief of Operations indicating your names, phone contact, age, current residential address & a valid identity card.

Caution: Do not recopy this letter or publicize the above Britain’s secret agent or the secret email identity above. For SIS diligence & effectiveness, it must protect the secrets of its sources & methods.

The Management,
British Secret Intelligence Service
London, United Kingdom.

You gotta wonder what these guys would do if they thought anyone would publicize their letter, say, like posting it on a blog.  If it were important to keep it secret, you can imagine how the letter-writer might fear that someone from MI-6 would learn what the letter-writer did, and come after him.  I mean, what e-mail scammer could stand up to MI-6?


V.A.T. tax refund hoax – Nigerian-style scam victimizes IRS?

November 20, 2010

How many errors can you find with this “notification” I got in e-mail?

UNITED STATES INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE: REFUND NOTIFICATION

We are glad to inform you that government of United States has ordered the treasury department of the IRS to issue out a refund of $500 to all credit card and credit union account holders on accumulated VAT made on their credit card and credit union account during transaction(s) made with their credit card or account. To proceed with this Refund request, reply this message with your Full Name, Address and Phone number(s) or send your information to notification_electronic@mail.bg.
You will be contacted shortly by IRS Refund Officer after sending your details.

Please note that only candidates with credit card and credit union account are eligible for this VAT refund.


Thank You,
Internal Revenue Service

UNITED STATES INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE

You could start with the fact that the U.S. does not have a Value Added Tax, and consequently, there can be no VAT refunds.

Other clues it’s a hoax:

  • The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is a division of the Treasury Department, not the other way around as the missive contends
  • “Treasury Department” should be capitalized, but is not in the notice
  • Were there VAT refunds, law would require they be made on all purchases, not just credit card purchases; there is obvious phishing here to get your credit card account number
  • IRS does not send notifications through e-mail nor ask for such information through e-mail
  • An order for a refund could come from Congress, or possibly from the President; if from Congress, the law would be cited; if from the president, the president would take credit
  • There is no personal information contained in the greeting; when IRS sends you money, or asks money from you, they use your name on the form
  • There is no “.gov” address, either in the sending address, nor in the address to which suckers are asked to send their private information; “All IRS.gov Web page addresses begin with, http://www.irs.gov/
  • If you made a transaction in which the IRS got paid, and you are now owed a refund, the IRS would contact only those who made such a transaction, not a few million “undisclosed recipients” through e-mail

What other clues do you see that this missive is false?


Another way to tell Republicans and opponents of health care reform have lost their minds, or their hearts, or their conscience

August 1, 2009

Republicans and opponents of health care reform make Dave Barry look like the prophet Isaiah with greatly improved accuracy.  You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried, as Dave Barry often says.

I have the right to protection, pleads this innocent little boy, in a poster for the State of Arizona Crime Victims Services division of the Department of Public Safety.  The Heritage Foundation ridicules federal support for child abuse prevention programs as unnecessary federal intrusion.

Included in the massive health care reform bill is some extra money to help out states and communities that have had difficulty getting effective programs going to combat child abuse.  Pilot programs demonstrated that community health workers could provide a few parenting programs and dramatically reduce child abuse.

These are programs that prevent dead babies.

According to the text of H.R. 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act,” starting on page 838 is a description of a program under which states and communities can get money to fight child abuse, if they have large populations of poor families, where child abuse is a problem, and where anti-child abuse programs need more money.  That’s pretty straightforward, no?  [That’s a hefty .pdf file, by the way — more than 1,000 pages.]

Parenting instruction and help can be offered, in private settings, and in homes where struggling parents need help most.

Money goes to states that want it and can demonstrate a need.  Parenting help programs are purely voluntary under H.R. 3200.

Who supports child abuse?  Who would not support spending some of the money in health care reform to save the saddest cases, the children who are beaten or starved or psychologically abused?

Is it not true that the prevention of child abuse would contribute to better health care for less money?

This is politics, you know.  Non-thinking conservatives pull out the stops in their desire to drive the health bill to oblivion, claiming that these anti-child abuse sections are socialism, liberty-depriving, and a threat to the designated hitter rule.  (I only exaggerate a little on the third point.)

This isn’t stripping liberties is it, we want someone else coming into our homes and telling us how to raise our children and live our lives.

This is right out of the Book 1984. If you had not read it I suggest it.

“Right out of 1984?”  Isn’t this a violation of  Godwin’s Law?

The Heritage Foundation appears to have taken a turn to radicalism, now advocating against fighting child abuse, and calling anti-child abuse programs a “stealth agenda.”

Have the Heritage Foundation, and these other people, lost their collective minds? They complain about the provisions of this bill because — this is their words:

One troublesome provision calls for a home visitation program that would bring state workers into the homes of young families to improve “the well-being, health, and development of children”.

Well, heaven forbid we should improve the well-being, health and development of children!

It is fair to conclude from this report that the Heritage Foundation does not want to prevent dead babies.

Years ago, when Father Reagan presided over the Conservative Church, one of the Heritage Foundation favorite deacons, a guy named Al Regnery, was appointed to be assistant attorney general over programs dealing with youth — juvenile delinquents, drug users, etc.  His chief qualifications for the job included that he was a faithful aide to Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt, and that he toed the party line on almost all issues, including shutting down federal funding for programs that might prevent juvenile delinquency, or treat it.

Republicans controlled the Judiciary Committee under Sen. Strom Thurmond, so Regnery’s confirmation was never doubted.  But as if to throw gasoline in the face of advocates of anti-delinquency programs, When Regnery drove up to the Senate office buildings for his nomination hearing, his car had a generally humorous bumper sticker.  “Have you hugged your kid today” showed on about 200 million of the 100 million cars in America at the time — it was a cliché.  To fight the cliché, Regnery had the anti-fuzzy bumper sticker, “Have you slugged your kid today.”

When the issue hit the news, Regnery backpedalled, and said it was just a joke sticker that he probably should have taken off his car under the circumstances, but he forgot — and Regnery disavowed the bumper sticker, as humorous or anything else.

Comes 2009, we discover that the Heritage Foundation wasn’t kidding — slugging your kid is acceptable behavior to them, and creating programs to fight child abuse, is evil — to the Heritage Foundation.

Ronald Reagan would be ashamed of them.  Somebody has to be ashamed — there appears to be no shame at Heritage Foundation offices.

One wouldn’t worry — surely common sense American citizens can see through these cheap deceptions —  except that Heritage has a massive public relations budget, and there is a corps of willing gullibles waiting to swallow as fact any fantasy Heritage dreams up — see this discussion board on ComCast, where the discussants accept Heritage claims at face value though anyone with even a dime-store excrement detector would be wary; or see this blogger who says he won’t let the feds “take away” his liberties (to beat his children, or the children of others?); or this forum, where some naif thinks the bill will create a federal behavior czarGlenn Beck, whose religion reveres children, can’t resist taking a cheap shot at Obama, even though doing so requires Beck to stand up for child abuse.

Beck falls into the worst category, spreading incredible falsehoods as if he understood the bill:

This doesn’t scare me! No way. Just the crazies like Winston Smith — you know, the main character from “1984.”

When did we go from being a nation that believed in hard work and picking yourself up by the bootstraps, to a nation that wants government to control everything from our light bulbs to our parenting techniques?

This bill has to be stopped.

Gee, Glenn — when did we go from a nation that thought government was for the people, as demonstrated by the Agricultural Extension Service, or the Air Traffic Control System, or the Tennessee Valley Authority, to a nation that fights to bring back Czarist Russian government in the U.S.?  Stopping this bill won’t resurrect Czar Nicholas, and it will kill at least a few hundred American kids.  Excuse me if I choose living American kids over fantasies of a new and oppressive monarchy.

These people are not journalists. Beck isn’t like Orwell — maybe more like Ezra Pound, in Italy.  These people are not commentators, or columnists.  These people are not editorial writers.  They are not, most of them, lobbyists who give out  information for money, having sold their souls away from the angels of serious public discourse.

They are crass propagandists. They should be regarded more like the guy Tom Lehrer warned us about, the old dope peddler in the park, who always has just a little bit of poison for the kids or anyone else.  (“Don’t worry; you won’t get hooked.”)

How many other provisions of the health reform act are being distorted by conservatives in a desperate attempt to keep President Obama from “looking good,” despite the costs to America’s children and families?

These attacks on the health reform bill fall out of the category of robust discussion.  They disgrace our polity, and they erode the dignity of our democratic system.

Please share the information on this bill:

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Below the fold:  An example of the type of program Beck and Heritage call socialism, 1984-ish, and dangerous.

Read the rest of this entry »


Love this scam: “Don’t bother contacting the FBI about our illegal activities — we already have”

February 16, 2009

Ya gotta give them scammers points for creativity and sense of humor, no?

My spam filter picked this up, but it’s just too good not to share, exactly as displayed here:

Attn: Beneficiary..
Friday, February 13, 2009 6:40 PM
From:
“Mueller” <usafbiw@usafbioffice.digitalartsindia.com>
Add sender to Contacts
To:
undisclosed-recipients
Anti-Terrorist and Monitory Crimes Division.
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
J. Edgar. Hoover Building, Washington D.C.

Attn: Beneficiary,

This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigated with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you are having an illegal transaction with Impostors claiming to be Prof. Charles C. Soludo of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Aziza, Danail Smith, none officials of Oceanic Bank, none
officials of Zenith Bank and some impostors claiming to be the Federal Bureau Of Investigation agents. During our investigation, it came to our notice that the reason why you have not received your payment is because you have not
fulfilled your Financial Obligation given to you in respect of your Contract/Inheritance Payment.

Therefore, we have contacted the Federal Ministry of Finance on your behalf, and they have brought a solution to your problem by coordinating your payment in the total amount of $800.000.00 USD which will be deposited into an ATM CARD
which you will use to withdraw funds anywhere of the world. You now have the lawful right to claim your funds which have been deposited into the ATM CARD.

Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been involved in this Transaction, you are now to be rest assured that this transaction is legitimate and completely risk-free as it is our duty to protect and Serve citizens of the United States of America.

All you have to do is immediately contact the ATM CARD CENTER via E-mail for instructions on how to procure your Approval Slip which contains details on how to receive and activate your ATM CARD for immediate use to withdraw funds being paid to you. We have confirmed that the amount required to procure the Approval Slip will cost you a total of $200 USD which will be paid directly to the ATM CARD CENTER agent via Western Union Money Transfer /Money Gram Money Transfer.
Below, you shall find contact details of the Agent whom will process your transaction from Federal Ministry of Finance:

CONTACT INFORMATION
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
ATM CARD CENTER
NAME: DR. PETER WATER
OFFICE LINE:  +2348061325890
EMAIL: water_fmfng@live.com

Immediately you contact Dr. Peter Water of the ATM Card Center with the following information:

Full Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Direct Phone Number:
Current Occupation:
Annual Income:

Once you have sent the required information to Dr. Peter Water he will contact you with instructions on how to make the payment of $200 USD for the Approval Slip after which he will proceed towards delivery of the ATM CARD without any further delay. You have hereby been authorized guaranteed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to commence towards completing this transaction, as there shall be NO delay once payment for the Approval Slip has been made to the authorized agent.

Once you have completed payment of $200 to the agent in charge of this transaction, immediately contact us back for more investigation for conformation of your ATM card.

Federal Bureau Investigation
Robert S. Mueller III Director, FBI
Contact us at: fbiwroberts4@live.com

Don’t you love it? “Dr. Peter Water.”  “fbiwroberts”  (probably formerly the Dread Pirate Roberts), at an e-mail address “live.com.”  How many punctuation errors, spelling errors, grammar errors?

Maybe these guys could be persuaded to take the next step, too:  Lock themselves up, and throw away the key.

If no one gets suckered in with these hoaxes, why do they continue?  And since it seems someone is getting suckered in, who?

(Yeah, I stripped out a lot of code; these guys are really smarmy.  I’ve left the e-mails as they were in the note.  If you wish to contact these guys, go ahead.)

And check out this post at Tangled Up In Blue Guy — he’s got a bunch of ’em.


Obama’s birth certificate: Astrologers bring sound reason

November 30, 2008

Texas Darlin‘ and the bevy of sites who contest the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate need to come up for air once in a while.  When astrologers start using better science, logic and reason than those obsessed with Obama’s birth certificate, it’s time for those so obsessed to change their ways, don’t you think?

See also the six ways the arguments against Obama’s birth certificate fail.


6 ways challenges to Obama’s citizenship fail

November 27, 2008

Enough already.  Somebody’s putting LSD into the water conservatives and other wackoes are drinking — that’s the only rational explanation for continued complaints about Barack Obama’s birth eligibility for the presidency.

First, here’s the rational view of the issue, from FactCheck.org, “Born in the USA.”

Here are a few of the sites that seem to have lost all touch with reality, and continue to whine that Obama might somehow be ineligible for the presidency:

Conservatives expert advisor Leo C. Denofrio, from his seat at a Caesars Palace poker table

Do you trust your nation's future to this man? - Conservatives' expert advisor Leo C. Denofrio, from his seat at a Caesar's Palace poker table

Weird enough, irrational enough yet?  As odd as these sites are, sometimes the comments get even odder.  It doesn’t help the rationality quotient that so many of these bloggers block out or strike down comments that present an alternative case or rational answers.

And in fact, it’s partly because of Texas Darlin’s anti-rational-comment pose that I put this post up.  Somebody, somewhere, needs to suggest the rational foundations, and inject them into the discussion.

A commenter named Carlyle states the basic case of the birth-certificate-obsessed people (BCOs).  It’s a nutty case, ungrounded in fact or logic, but Texas Darlin’ won’t allow responses.  So, here are some of the things these people are not thinking about as they fold ever-thicker tinfoil hats.

Carlyle said:

But let me back up for a moment and lay out the two great truths. These are the things that are known without doubt and far above speculation.

1. FACT – Obama has never provided admissable auditible citizenship documentation to anybody. No complete birth certificate, no passport, no selective service registration, nothing, zero, nada, zippo. Nobody can produce any of this stuff – not DNC, FEC, DOJ, State SecStates, electors – nobody.

No, actually Carlyle is doing a lot of speculation there (as are other BCOs).  Almost all of these rants are based on speculation, wild speculation far outside of what is known.  The key questions would revolve around what sorts of evidence would be admissible as evidence in a court of law in the U.S.  Very few of these anti-Obama rants ever bother to touch ground on those issues.  The birth certificate issued by the State of Hawaii, posted by the Obama campaign for months, is the legally-admissible document.  The ranters have to ignore that to get on to the rest of their complaints.

Beyond the legally-admissible, there are logical cascades of events to which we can point, which strongly suggest the ranters are truly full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

First, in order to obtain a passport, for one example, one must provide “admissible, auditable citizenship documentation” to the U.S. Department of State. We know Obama has held a passport for many years, so we can be reasonably certain he provided that information originally (Do you have a passport?  How did you get it without a birth certificate?  I got a diplomatic speedy process, and I still had to provide a birth certificate . . .).

Propagandist-and-self-promoter-for-hire Jerome Corsi claims Obama didn’t travel on a U.S. passport, claiming results from an impossible Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. State Department.

Obama’s passport is a matter of record (though privacy laws do not allow release of the passport itself, generally).  Without evidence to the contrary, this presents a rebuttable presumption that Obama is a citizen. Does anyone else have information that the birth certificate Obama gave State was wrong?  Obviously not — the BCOs don’t appear to have been aware such a thing was even required.

Second, one of the things State checked for when I applied for a passport (when I worked in the Senate) was my Selective Service Status.  Hypothetically, they don’t want to grant a passport to someone who is not registered.  Again, under the rules of civil procedure, we have a rebuttable presumption that Obama’s draft registration was fine when he traveled as a student.  If it was fine then, absent a showing from anyone that there was a later event that made the draft registration invalid, we should assume that State did their job.  As a pragmatic matter, the draft ended in the early 1970s, so there could be almost no issue that could have caused Obama’s draft status to change.  It’s pretty clear that his draft registration is valid.

Third, Obama is a lawyer.  In order to get a license to practice law, applicants must provide a certified copy of a birth certificate to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, in order to be eligible to take the bar exam. The National Conference then does a background investigation on all candidates, generally an investigation more thorough than the FBI’s checking for most federal appointees.  In the past, the Conference has reported issues like minor drug use, preventing people from becoming lawyers in several states.  Absent a showing by someone that the National Conference granted special waivers, or a showing of other irregularities, the fact that Obama held a license to practice law presents a rebuttable presumption that his birth certificate is valid exactly as he alleges, and that his draft status is legal. Obviously, the BCOs have no information to indicate any irregularity, since they were unaware of this check.  We should assume, therefore, that Obama has a valid birth certificate and draft registration, since the Illinois Bar got a recommendation from the National Conference of Bar Examiners that Obama was morally fit to be a lawyer.

Fourth, Obama is a U.S. Senator.  As a matter of standard operating procedure, the FBI does a thorough background check on every elected Member of Congress, to certify that they are eligible for top secret clearance, since every member will be seeing national secrets.  Occasionally these checks produce questions, which are usually resolved by the Rules Committee of each house.  There is no record of any proceeding dealing with any irregularity in the background check for Sen. Obama.  This means that there is a rebuttable presumption that the FBI was satisfied with Obama’s citizenship status, as well as his patriotism and ability to keep state secrets.

Furthermore, for members of the Armed Services, Intelligence oversight, and Foreign Relations Committees, there is a more thorough background check by the FBI, since many of these members will be seeing a lot of secrets, and many of them will be talking with foreign dignitaries and visiting foreign nations, and in other ways would have opportunities to pass state secrets to non-allies and even enemies of the U.S.  The simple fact that Obama sat on the Foreign Relations Committee and was, in fact, chairman of the NATO subcommittee (which deals with secrets of many of the allies of the U.S.), creates a fourth rebuttable presumption that Obama’s citizenship status, draft status, patriotism and ability to wave the flag and sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” are above reproach.

Obviously, BCOs don’t have any information to suggest there is any problem with this tougher security clearance, and in fact appear to be wholly unaware that such an investigation had been done, or could be done.

Fifth, since the November 4 election, Sen. Obama has been getting the daily National Security briefiing that President Bush gets.  This briefing includes our nation’s most precious secrets, and cannot be done, even for the president, without the CIA and Homeland Security verifying that the man is who he says he is.

BCOs have no information to overcome the several rebuttable presumptions that Obama’s credentials are in order, evidenced by their total lack of awareness that such procedures even exist.

So, in five ways, we have assurances that Obama is wholly legal and qualified to hold the office of the presidency.  Neither TD’s commenter Carlyle nor any other BCO has any basis to question these federal and state agencies, nor have they suggested any irregularity in any one of these processes which would lead to the irrational conclusion that Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen, or not eligible to be president.

Sixth, Obama posted his birth certificate in June, on-line [archived version here]. Are these people Google impaired?

2. FACT – Against numerous attempts by journalists and courts to ask for such information, Obama has uniformaly resisted. One might even say beligerently so.

One might say that, but one would be prevaricating, belligerently.  As noted above, Obama’s birth certificate is available on-line.  So much for resistance.   So far as we know, every reporter who asked was able to view the actual certificate with it’s stamp of authority from the State of Hawaii.  Such analyses have been done, written about, and posted on-line.  Are they Google AND Yahoo impaired?

Do the BCOs have any serious evidence of any problems that the U.S. State Department, the FBI, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the State Bar of Illinois, the FBI again, the Rules Committee of the U.S. Senate, the CIA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security missed?  What is their evidence?

We challenge them to be specific.  If they are claiming something like an aged grandmother’s testimony that Obama was born in Kenya, they should have the good sense not to waste the court’s time about such folderol unless unless have a sworn affidavit from the woman, taken down by a court reporter, and corroborating evidence (Corsi did not even bother to get statements, let alone sworn statements under oath, I understand — he’s asking a Supreme Court hearing for inadmissible hearsay).

And Joseph Farah, here’s my challenge to you:  Provide corroboration for your charges, provide affidavits where they would be required, provide evidence of error on the parts of these federal and state agencies, or shut up about it. Even scandal-sheet journalists have some responsibility to at least try to look like they care about accuracy.  Farah owes it to his readers to get things right.  He’s not living up to the duty he owes.

What do they have?

Why must we entertain cargo cultists in their dances?  We have two wars and a crashing economy to fix.  Can we get on with the transition, please?

Barack Obamas birth certificate, showing the states stamp of authenticity, from FactCheck.org

Barack Obama's birth certificate, showing the state's stamp of authenticity, from FactCheck.org

See Updates:

Please share the information.

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Fishy education software bill out of Utah

October 28, 2008

Remember about a year ago when Utah was all atwitter over a voucher proposal that was on a ballot?  Remember all the talk about saving money in education?

Utah Education Issues explains odd features in an omnibus funding bill recently passed by the Utah Legislature (The Economist praised Utah’s efficiency*).  Among other things, it gives away $1 million to an educational software company that will provide families with reading software — at a fantastic pricetag of $3,400 per installation (computer included, but still . . .).

Describing the smell of this bill doesn’t come close to the total repugnance — go read the report.  Fewer than 300 families can be served at that price, statewide.  One might suspect the true beneficiaries of this bill are not Utah voters, not Utah educators, nor even the Utah families who get the freebies.  Did I mention this involves a major publisher of public school textbooks?

It’s a commendable job of reporting for a blog, no?

Footnote:

*   The “cultural thing”, as businessmen from out of state delicately refer to Mormonism, helps in other ways. Utah’s almost universal conservatism makes for stable, consensual politics. It took the state legislature just two days last month to plug a $272m hole in the budget. By contrast, California’s budget was 85 days late. Nevada’s politicians are preparing for a nasty fiscal fight next year.


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