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 Letter Warning About Scammers

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MeridianAlicante
Master Baiter


Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 236


PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As well as baiting on and off, I've taken to warning, and boring, most of my local area about the perils of scam emails/phonecalls/letters Smile With a leaflet in my local church, a letter to the local paper and another letter to a magazine (and I'm contemplating contacting Take A Break and Which), I've used the same format, altering it slightly to suit the audience.

Another member (*waves at Kate*) suggested that I post this letter/warning up here, so that any baiters who wanted to use the same format could.

Mods, if this is in the wrong place, I do apologise and Embarassed in advance Smile

Edit: Draft 3!
___________________________

Have you ever received an email like this?:

Quote:
“CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Dear Lucky Winner,

We are delighted to inform you of your prize which was released on the 18th of february 2009 from the Australian International Lottery programme which is fully based on an electronic selection of winners using their e-mail addresses from sites and your email address was attached to ticket number: 575061725/8056490902 and serial number:6741137002.This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows 11,13,26,34,44,48 and bonus number 17,which consequently won the lottery in the second category.


or perhaps it looked something like this?:

Quote:
“FROM THE DESK OF DR WAHABB LAMI,
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.
BANK OF AFRICA (BOA).
OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA-FASO.
{WEST AFRICA}
ATTENTION REQUIRED: DEAR FRIEND,

I AM DR WAHABB LAMI, THE MANAGER IN CHARGE OF AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING SECTION IN BANK OF AFRICA OUAGADOUGOU BURKINA FASO IN WEST AFRICA WITH DUE RESPECT AND REGARDS I HAVE DECIDED TO CONTACT YOU ON THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION THAT WILL BE VERY BENEFICIAL TO BOTH OF US AT THE END OF THE TRANSACTION. “

((Both of these examples taken randomly from the surplus section of the 419eater.com forums))

If you have, then you've been introduced to one of the internets most pervasive pests, the internet scammer. There are always people out there that would rather trick people out of their money than earn it themselves.

I am part of an online community that spends its time trying to warn the victims of these scammers, to waste the scammers time and de-educate them, and to close down their access to stolen credit cards and bank details. Here are a few of the most common scams around at the moment.

The first one is the phishing scam. The whole point of the phishing scam is to get your bank details or credit card details so that they can then spend your money. These can come by email, post, or even by phone.

Quote:
“Dear valued Halifax member

Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the online banking community we have issued the following warning message.

It has come to our attention that your account information needs to be confirmed due to inactive customers, fraud and spoof reports. If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and renew your records you will not run into any future problems with the online service. However, failure to confirm your records may result in your account suspension.”


When coming by email, they usually look like an email from the bank, saying that for security reasons your account has been locked, and that if you don't click on the link in the email and enter your details again, then your account will be closed in 24 hours. No matter how legitimate the email looks, no matter how good the site looks, it is still a scam. Once you've put your information in, the scammers have it.

If you think that your details have been given to someone else, contact your bank, and monitor your bank and credit card statements and your credit report.

Another common type of scam is the Lottery Scam.

Quote:
“CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Dear Lucky Winner,

We are delighted to inform you of your prize which was released on the 18th of february 2009 from the Australian International Lottery programme which is fully based on an electronic selection of winners using their e-mail addresses from sites and your email address was attached to ticket number: 575061725/8056490902 and serial number:6741137002.This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows 11,13,26,34,44,48 and bonus number 17,which consequently won the lottery in the second category.


You will be told that you have won a lottery or other competition that you don't remember entering. You will eventually be asked to contact a bank to arrange the details for collecting your winnings. Although it’s a different email address, it’s most likely that you're talking to the same scammer pretending to be someone else. You will then be asked to send a fee to cover something. If you pay them the fee once, then time and again they will ask you for more money to cover an unexpected cost, and they will keep reassuring you that you are so close to claiming your prize.

If you have been taken in by the scam, there is little to no chance that you will get your money back. You can report the scam, but since the scammers are mostly in other countries, there is not a lot that can be done. Most people are only aware of the Nigerian scammers, but scammers can come from anywhere. Nigeria, Russia, Spain, Mexico, the UK and the US. It is not limited to just West Africa, no matter what the news would have you believe. Just drop all contact and ignore their emails, or phone calls if you've given them your number. It might even be necessary to change your email address or phone number.

A third type of scam is the Trunk box scam.
Quote:
Dear partner.

Before I proceed I must first apologize for this unsolicited mail to you, I am aware that this is certainly not a conventional way of approach to action, because I got your contact information from the Africa trade union directory in Ghana when i was searching for my late father business partner so I come across your contact I decide to reach you through this medium of exercise.
My name is David Kimball. I am a citizen of Southern Sudan the son of the late Chief Okpo Kimball who work as an expatriate engineer with the foreign government in Sudan 1999 to export at the Oil Venture to foreign country but unfortunately he was killed by rebels during political problem in my country Sudan 2006.
When the governments of Sudan try to investigate the profit of the Oil been export out of Port Sudan, so the opposition leaders disrupt the Oil operational and cause war in Sudan. Before my Father's death he made my mother to understand that he deposited some huge amount of money in a security company in Ghana West Africa, which he Made from sales of gold and Oil business in Africa Market and he gave my mother all relevant document of the trunk box Which he deposited (marked) as family belonging.
I and my mother were able to move out from Sudan through the UNITED NATION, that Coven refugee from Sudan to Accra Ghana, West Africa. Because we want to make the claims of the trunk box content $15 Million Dollar because my late father deposit the One Trunk Box/Diplomatic Personal Treasure so that nobody should knows about the content of the box here in Africa.


This can also be run in conjunction with a love scam, where the scammer pretends to be looking for love, and then needs money for various reasons. For the trunk box scam, you will be contacted by someone saying that they have a box of money, or have investments that they want to be used for charitable works, since they are either dying, or in a refugee camp. At some point during their conversations with you, they will pass you onto their barrister (again, most likely the scammer pretending to be someone else). Then, money will be brought up. Either there will be fees to be paid on the box so that Customs will release it, or the person may claim to be sick and needing medicine, or that their child has been in an accident. This is all a lie designed to get your money.

Another type of scam at the moment involves hacking. The scammer will hack your email address and then send emails to everyone in your address book, claiming to be you and saying that you're stranded somewhere and need money to get out. If you get an email like that, ring the person who apparently sent the email and check to make sure that it is definitely them. If it is not, report the hacking to the company that runs the email (Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) and see if they can get the email account back. Also remember that someone stranded in a foreign country need only contact their country’s Embassy, and the Embassy will help them.

Then there is the ad scam. You are trying to sell something on eBay, or through the papers. Someone tells you that they are interested in the item, and they want to send you a cheque. When the cheque arrives, it is for more than the item is worth. The buyer tells you that it’s alright, put the cheque in the bank, take some extra for yourself, and send the rest back to them or on to their “shipper” via Western Union or Moneygram. This is another scam. The cheque will be false.

This is also linked to the employment scam:

Quote:
*In a short form,we are offering you a part-time job, and your tasks are:

1. Receive payment from Customers
2. Cash Payment at your Bank
3. Deduct 10% which will be your percentage/pay on Payment processed
4. Forward balance after deduction of percentage/pay to any of the
offices Payment is to be forwarded either by Money Gram or Western
Union Money Transfer) or any Local Money transfers take barely hours,
so it will give us a possibility to get customer's payment almost
immediately.*


Again, the cheque from the so-called customer will be false.

Banks are required by law to make funds available within four days, and that is what they mean when they say a cheque has cleared. In fact it takes weeks or months for a fake cheque to be detected, but the risk remains with you, the customer; when the fake is recognised the bank will take the money back and you will get a huge overdraft and maybe a criminal record.

While these are just a selection of the scams out there, there are many more, and scammers are coming up with new ways all the time. If it seems to good to be true, whatever the offer, then be on your guard. Also, as soon as sending money is mentioned, then be wary. Especially if its through Western Union or Moneygram.

If you have been caught by any of these scams, then it is highly likely that you'll be contacted by someone who claims to be from the UN, the FBI, MI5, or any other official organisation.

Quote:
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, none officials of Oceanic Bank, none officials of Zenith Bank and some impostors from other part of the world 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. So 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 $5,000,000.00 USD which will be deposited into an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw funds anywhere of the world.


They will tell you that they can help you get your money back. This is a lie. They are scammers – possibly even the same scammers as before, and they will take more money from you, claiming that it’s necessary fees for you to get your original money back.

Scammers will tell you anything and everything in order to try and get money out of you. They will urge you to take out loans, remortgage, and even steal. They just want your money; they don't care about anything else. One victim was urged to send money to the scammer rather than buy medicine for their sick mother.

Many of the scammers are religious, and will play on that in order to convince their victim that they are trustworthy.

“Scammers seem to feel that western Christians have a view that all Christians look on one another as brothers and sisters, and that all Christians are honest in their dealings with others, so if they say they're Christians, that makes them believable.

Some of them actually attend churches that are nominally Christian. Their faith is a sort of amalgamation of Christianity and tribal religions. They believe in God like western children believe in Santa Claus – if you ask God for something and you get it, then God gave it to you. So if they ask God for rich victims and someone answers their scam mail, then God sent that victim to them.

Such a belief may be incomprehensible to people who are firm believers in not being dishonest, but the scammers don't see any dichotomy. They are not stealing they believe; the victims are giving them the money. If the story they tell to get the money is a lie, well, it was a story God told them to tell in order to get the victim to give them the money. And if giving them money hurts the victim, well, then the victim must have been a bad person and God is punishing them.

Very simple beliefs, and yet at the same time, very convoluted.”

Titania, from the 419eater forum, quoted with permission.

www.scamwarners.com

This is a very useful website that details all the different types of scam out there. You can also post there to find out if something is a scam. If in doubt about the validity of an email, do not respond, and delete it.



Thank you for reading.

_________________
Canada Netherlands United States United States

Closed lad accounts x 7 Mortar x2

Fake Cheques: $150,000

"May God bless you? Happy exams in advance Thanks," Mr. Herbert Horsey

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Last edited by MeridianAlicante on Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:57 am; edited 3 times in total
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Larson
Master of Master Baiters


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 518


PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good work! Smile

We should have an icon for such efforts.

_________________
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listen i don't beg you money if you don't interested through this transaction please kindly remove your hand and stop contact me - Razak Konan, Malaysia
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manbiteslion
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 4816
Location: Connecting my chair and keyboard


PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Good stuff

My only copy editing comments would be the inappropriate use of the word maga and some other terms we use as baiters, the focus needs to be the user without muddying the waters with talk of Eater, and make it clear the scammers are from ALL OVER not limited to West Africa and Asia (even though West Africa is responsible for the bulk, we don't want people thinking a Lotto scam letter from Spain on Holland is legit, or accuse us of racial bias with terms like "de-educate them on Western ways")

But a great letter to photocopy and leave around the place Smile A couple of us were using PM to discuss other print resources, we may borrow bits from this if that's agreeable to you?
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thud419
Baiting Guru


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 3193


PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Very good - comprehensive and well-written.

I would agree with manbiteslion: replace "maga" with "victim".

Also, in this form, it is hard to see which pieces of text are quotations and which are commentary, although I imagine in leaflet form you set them out differently.

_________________
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PsycheDelia_Smith
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Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 3573
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Good work, but the 'finally' at the end of your 'types of scam' paragraphs is a little worrying. There's so many other types and variants of 419 scam. Love scams, refugee scams, work-from-home scams yada yada......people reading could be victims of those very cons right now, but still assume they're ok. Just an observation, given the great quality of your writing, but maybe an addition to the effect of 'If it seems to good to be true, it most likely is."

_________________
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Cathartic Kate
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Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 1542
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@ MeridianAlicante.

* Blows Kisses * Very Happy

It reads very well. The sub-editors here are raising a few valid points, which you as author maybe will take on board.

But it IS a damn fine effort, informative and thorough. Well done.

I insist that the admins present you with a suitable icon.

Wink Laughing

This is a good place babe. Easy access for all great tools n stuff.

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=151052

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DoraTheExplorer
Anonymous


Joined: 18 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well the crazy-squirrel's VD tart is good for something more than making his lists for him! Wink


Great job, MeridianAlicante! I think with the above noted edits, it is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Very Happy

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Tastysnack
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ok- I'll bite.

I appreciate your zeal, and I too have thought of doing some sort of community awareness course about scams.

My only comment on your format, is that it is rather wordy, dry, and not very eye catching. If this is a 1 sheet handout, I'm not sure your audience is going to plow through it. It looks like a legal document, and reads like it.

And, it is difficult to differentiate between "sections". Might I suggest you make 2 or 3 pages. Simple headers such as "Lottery Scams", "Phishing Scams", "Employment Scams"

Then under each run a header from something from the surplus bin. Then briefly explain how the scam works, and what to look for. I'll try and gin something up tomorrow. I don't have time today.

Again, I admire your zeal and initiative. I think it just needs some work to make it have more of an impact. Some samples of fake checks would be nice as well. Make sure you write "FAKE" on the back so they can't be used. Or accuse you of having bogus checks on you.

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MeridianAlicante
Master Baiter


Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 236


PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you so much everyone for the feedback!!!

I've edited it so hopefully its a bit clearer, and I've added in a few more quotes as examples. If anyone has an examples of the ad scam (since my puppy seller isn't being cooperative at the moment), please PM me Very Happy

I'm working on the word document at the moment for the formatting issues and for the different sections.

@manbiteslion - The whole reason for me posting this up here was to let other people use it, so work away Very Happy

@tastysnack - It was originally a two page leaflet for the church, and then thinned down as a article (since mentioning religion in our paper is a bad idea). It probably was dry, since I'm never quite sure of the right tone to use for these sorts of documents.

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Cathartic Kate
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Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 1542
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^

Well I think that is just brilliant.

I am printing 500 this weekend and will flutter my lashes and ask the information kiosk at the main shopping mall and at the local library to include them in the information packs they hand out.

Well done MeridianAlicante.

Cool Very Happy

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Corona
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Great job, MeridianAlicante! Wink

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manbiteslion
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just a bit of extra information, may be useful (cos it's a smashing letter already)...

I've had lads try to turn a deaperate woman to prostitution to get their "fees", and the medication money is sadly an all-too-common demand.

May be worth mentioning what bullies lads almost always are too - nobody loves a bully, but more vulnerable people may not feel brave enough to stand up to them - if we point it out it may help.

It may be worth expanding the romance scam bit too - even point people towards www.romancescam.com for more details if they or a friend is involved with an internet lover and want to check them out. If they've been sent a photo by their lover, they may want to upload it to the romancescam scamdigger tool - it recognises scammer photos and may help people quickly see if they've got a known romance scammer. (It's an awesome and unique tool - try it! It recognises over 100000 scammers)

Just some of my thoughts...
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GSN_fan
Hellish Taskmaster


Joined: 31 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I really like this guide. It is quite helpful, but it could use a part about employment scams.

_________________
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Closed lad accounts x23
United Kingdom x6 United States x4 Nigeria Australia Switzerland Russia x2 x2 Germany

Listen very openly Barrister Koffi Adams forward to this or what you sent to him how der you sent such a thing to him with is age am very disapointed in you if by your next mail you could not comeplete sending the right way sorry.

Even my little child know how to send money and give to the taker on how to take it so

Austria is a the name of a country near Australia.

This are the details we required from you so our customer cab infect payment to you.

Our is not ready to receive your incandesces message

send to me their pin code and asses code
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Dramaqueen
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Excellent work MeridianAlicante!
We really appreciate all the time and effort you have put into this.
It will make a difference for someone I'm sure.

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thud419
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Nice re-write. That is a lot easier to read. Just a couple of points ( Smile sorry)

There's still a couple of "maga"s in the last bit.

"The banks may say that cheques take three to five days to clear, but in reality, it takes much longer to determine if the cheque is fake. And if it is fake, then its you who paid the cheque in that will be affected, and even possibly arrested."

Please: "it's you"

That paragraph is a bit unclear, How about something like:

The bank is required by law to make funds available within four days, and that is what they mean when they say a cheque has cleared. In fact it takes weeks or months for a fake cheque to be detected, but the risk remains with you, the customer; when the fake is recognised the bank will take the money back and you will get a huge overdraft and maybe a criminal record.

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Cathartic Kate
Elite Baiter


Joined: 03 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Very happy with 3rd edit.

It looks more and more polished and better everytime I look.

Well done Author and editorial advisers.

Laughing

Image

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MeridianAlicante
Master Baiter


Joined: 23 Sep 2008
Posts: 236


PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

@Kate

When I first read this, you made me turn so red that my husband wondered what on earth I was reading!

All I ever wanted to do was help my local area. I am so grateful to everyone for the advice they've given so that I can polish this into a useful resource, rather than an idea.

_________________
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"May God bless you? Happy exams in advance Thanks," Mr. Herbert Horsey

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Murry Guru
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Joined: 11 May 2007
Posts: 5561
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Meridian,

I am sorry I didn't see this earlier, it really is a worthwhile initiative and it is always encourageing to see that baiters here are not just here to see the lad with a fish on his head, not that there is anything wrong with that either Wink

Scammers create real problems for real people every day, you dont have to talk to too many people to find somebody who knows of a scam victim in your real life these days and it isn't getting any better.

I know, I should have picked it to pieces days ago but I didn't see it. Embarassed

I happen to be involved a little with 2 very good victim support sites and may be able to provide some insight that could help you

I wouldn't mind having a go at seeing if I can tweak it a little in word format so I can see the end result.

It does look a little wordy, and a few things could be changed, reduce the amount of scam email, increae the types of scams, change the odd word here and there.

I am notorious for making everything I write too long but perhaps I might have some ideas for you.

If you could email me a copy of what it will look like I can certainly see if I can tart it up for you.

Edited to make my other identity harder to find now Cool

And accidentally also edited out some praise left for a job well done Embarassed

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