FTC alleges MOBE tells a whale of a tale with misleading money-making claims

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The company’s name is MOBE – pronounced Mōb, not Moby – but according to a lawsuit filed by the FTC, the defendants tell quite a fish story to the consumers they hook with money-making promises.

The nine corporations and three individuals named in the complaint sell “business education” products through web ads, direct mail, and live events. (MOBE stands for “My Online Business Education.”) The defendants claim to have a “simple 21-Step” system consumers can implement to make substantial income “without creating your own products” and “without dealing with customers.” Pitching a “master plan to massive paydays with ease,” they promise that “average people with no prior experience online are depositing $1,250, $3,300, and even $5,500 commissions ” into their bank accounts “on auto-pilot.”

When consumers visit the defendants’ website, they’re taken to a registration page for the 21-Step System, which the defendants initially offer for $49 or less. But that’s just the start. The 21-Step system turns out to be a series of videos. The initial ones offer vague teases about “funnels that have paid out millions and millions of dollars in commissions to people just like you who went through this training” and assurances that later steps will reveal the “secret” method for generating substantial income online. Ultimately, the defendants explain that the “missing ingredient” to making money through the MOBE system is to buy additional tiered memberships and then earn commissions by getting other people to sign up with MOBE, too. According to the defendants, the higher the membership, the greater the commission. Just how pricy are those upper-level memberships? The “Gold Masterclass” costs consumers $4,997 while the “Diamond Mastermind” sets people back a staggering for $29,997.

According to the complaint, the defendants encourage people to place their own social media ads, create websites, use copy-and-paste emails, and record testimonials to get others to sign up for MOBE. They also sell members add-on products – like the email addresses of people likely to buy business opportunities. In addition, the defendants repackage their “system” and sell it under other names. According to one ad, consumers can “discover how a poisoned, brain-damaged man … RAKES IN A 6-FIGURE INCOME FROM HOME AND HOW YOU CAN TOO, GUARANTEED.” (The … and the ALL CAPS are in the original ad.) They also market the “Patriot Funnel System” with the promise that people will “DISCOVER THE SHOCKING $97,337 SECRET A WAR VET UNCOVERED FROM HIS SWEAT-BOX ROOM IN AFGHANISTAN.” The pitch to older consumers and retirees is a so-called “Surefire Way to Create a Six-Figure Retirement Income in Less Than 12 Months.”

But regardless of how the defendants package the system online or at live events, the FTC alleges that the primary thing MOBE sells is more MOBE memberships. As a result, the FTC says that very few people – if anybody – achieved the advertised results and that many consumers found themselves in an even deeper financial hole. That should come as no surprise to the defendants, who themselves admitted in a buried fine-print hyperlink that the “average Consultant, which includes both active and inactive members, generates less than $250 per year.”

What about buyers who want to take the defendants up on their prominent “100% risk-free” promise that “We Guarantee You’ll Be Satisfied With Your Course and Coaching In 30 Days, Or We’ll Happily Give You Your Money Back”? According to the complaint, the defendants often failed to honor their refund policy or imposed onerous hoops through which dissatisfied consumers had to jump.

Filed in federal court in Florida, the lawsuit challenges the defendants’ earnings claims and refund representations. The Judge issued an ex parte temporary restraining order against principals Matthew Lloyd McPhee (in most MOBE promotions, he goes by Matt Lloyd), Susan Zanghi, and Russell W. Whitney, Jr.; MOBE Ltd.; and eight related corporations. But even at this initial stage, this case – and other recent FTC actions challenging allegedly deceptive money-making promises – suggests that people interested in supplementing their income should be on alert.

Small business owners or others interested in additional earnings are wise to be wary of “systems” that promise substantial passive cash, especially when the system depends on selling others the same “opportunity.” When promoters claim to have the “secret” to making big bucks online, the needle on your malarkey-ometer should be in the red zone. The FTC has free resources to consult before sinking cash into a purported money-making venture.

Edited on August 16, 2018 to add:  Looking for more information about this case? Read What you need to know if you were a MOBE customer on the FTC’s Consumer Blog.

Comments

I lost out as well and I tried to contact the company and nothing .. Damn Shame... And sad we struggling out here and the greedy steady taking. ..

After joining mobe and starting the twenty- one steps I was asked for $3.500 I paid, but it seemed to me the only thing they were promoting was to attract new people to Mobe.
I finished the twenty- one steps and asked for a refund I was told I was not entitled to a refund. I did not use anything of Mobe's twenty- one steps this was in 2015 and I am still waiting for my money.
Also, I was not told upfront the full cost of Mobe seems to me if it was worth buying Matt Lloyd would have been happy to tell people the full cost
One condition for a refund in 2015 was a person had to forward the email they signed up with this again was not told to people who signed up only when someone asked for a refund were they told about this condition who would think to keep the email they joined up with, this on its own made Mobe and Matt Lloyd one big scam.

I have deposited 2500 us dollars + 49 dollars + wire transfer charges from India adding up to 200000 Indian rupees approximately. Most importantly during a financial and mental crisis situation in my life. I was about to complete the 21 step program. I had some hope that I found a resort for the crisis. I didn't expect this big blow. I have no clue what is going on with the law suit at the current moment but I kindly request the authorities to help me get my money back. I'm helpless, feeling hopeless. Please help.

It angers me that they convince folks to Max out lines of credit and take a second mortgage yet their houses are most likely paid off.....I hope they can sleep at night..

I tried for 2 years to make Money. But could not afford all the extra stuff they wanted me to spend. With this company you have to have lots of money to make money. I only lost about 4k. I always said, I wished they would have told the whole truth about how much money you would have to spend to make money. THEY DID NOT!

I funded my Titanium and Platinum courses 5 days before the FTC shut Mobe down. I lost $28,240 dollars over night. Hard earned money that was stolen from me by Mobe.
I got NOTHING in return.

I am proud to say that I was in touch with the FTC throughout 2017 and on into 2018, and I am absolutely thrilled at how this is playing out! MOBE scammed me at the point in which I was the lowest and most desperate I had ever been. They preyed on me. Now their chickens are coming home to roost.

It's amazing to see some people still drinking the MOBE kool-aid on here even after all this. It was an unethical business where a select few profited by deceiving and robbing the unsuspecting.

Though my losses were significant to me at the time, I have recovered and my loss was nothing compared to many others. I pray that the receiver, Mark J. Bernet, is as merciless with Matt Lloyd and his band of thugs as they were in suckering those of us they profited from, that he is able to get every penny of the $125m and reparations are made to those who have suffered loss.

Go get 'em Mark!

I invested $30,157. 65 in MOBE business two years ago and didn’t get any penny back in commissions. I really appreciate the fact that Federal Trade Commission has done something to get MOBE assets frozen in USA to protect consumers.

However, I agree with those who believe that MOBE assets should also be frozen in other countries. This is because most of the money paid to MOBE by consumers in USA got invested outside of the United States; especially in Australia. That money should come back to USA. This way, there will be enough funds to give back to everyone who invested in MOBE and did not make any money. Even those who made some money in commissions through MOBE programs, but did not break even on their investments, should also get all their money back.

This is an international issue. Filing a lawsuit against MOBE on at an international level would also benefit consumers who have been victims of MOBE scheme in other countries. MOBE mostly targeted consumers in United States, but according to their own testimonies in training videos, the money they collected from those consumers were mostly used to buy real estate properties and other types of properties in countries such as Australia, England, France, and other countries.

Actually, one of my MOBE coaches explained in MOBE a promotional video that they use that money to buy expensive properties in exotic places such as islands for vacation. They made all these claims to make us believe that if we invested in MOBE, we would also be able to buy such properties. My MOBE coach also advised me to invest in such properties once I start earning commissions, but I never earned any money from MOBE.

Again, as of now, it seems like MOBE assets are frozen only in USA. The funds collected from those assets might not be enough to repay all MOBE victims in USA. Therefore, Federal Trade Commission should find a way to contact the International authorities overseas, freeze MOBE assets in other countries (especially in Australia), and bring our money back to USA. According my coach, the most successful MOBE associates also invested the money they collected into other types of businesses. MOBE made profit out of our money. So, I think that they should return consumers’ money, and also pay them least five to ten percent in interest.

Germaine Kapena

I am absolutely amazed at how anyone could be defending MOBE. Yet many on here are doing just that. Most of them say something like this:

"People who complain that MOBE is a scam are lazy. They did not put in the work and expected the money to come to them magically. If you put in the work, you will get the results. It takes hard consistent work, as Matt Lloyd consistently says. In any entreprenurial business endeavor, the majority fail to make it. That does not make every such endeavor a scam."

99% of those defending MOBE sound just like this. Let's break this down.

1 - There are scores of testimonies from folks who worked the program dilligently. Placing ads, learning from their "traffic coach", implementing what their "coach" taught, making videos, getting on the phone to talk to prospects, etc. To claim that MOBE was a "proven system" is patently false and to accuse everyone who didn't succeed as being lazy is blaming the victim. You should be ashamed of such!

2 - You cite the fact that some who did put in the work got results and made decent money. Of course that is true. But how did they make money? By selling the products they bought the license to, or by converting others into the system? Almost exclusively the latter. I could not find one person who made it big in MOBE any other way. If such a one exists, he/she is the exception, not the rule. In other words, the reason some people made money with MOBE is because they became scammers themselves!

3 - The fact that the system doesn't work for most (point 1 above) and the fact that the only way to make it work is to dupe others into joining (point 2 above) is nothing compared to the massive deception MOBE used to lure people in. They advertised it as "risk free" and said they have a "money back guarantee" but then had hidden language buried in the terms and conditions that got them out of ever having to give a refund. Everything they said about money back was misleading at best and a flat out lie to steal peoples money at worst.

Given these facts which have been conclusively proven by the scores of testimonies and in depth research the FTC has done, anyone still defending MOBE should be absolutely ashamed of themselves! It's time to stop drinking the kool-aid, learn your lesson, and get some ethics.

I absolutely agree with you Jarrod! it doesn't make sense that some people are trying to defend MOBE alleging that those who did not make money did not put in the necessary hard work. Words cannot even explain the hard work, energy, and money I invested in MOBE hopping to discover the big "money-making" secret that Matt Lloyd was referring to in earlier training videos. I dedicated my time and effort to MOBE back then, but after doing all this hard work, I discovered that the secret was to scam other people making them the same empty promises.

How can a person with good work ethics knowingly continue working hard with MOBE and keep on scamming and misleading other people. Once I found out that MOBE was a scheme system, I could not keep working with such a company. So, I stopped working on MOBE business and started asking for my money back. MOBE never gave me my money back, and it has been two years since then. They owe me a little over $30, 000.00 and want it back. I am sure they owe other consumers more that this. (No excuse; they promised to give money back to consumers and should honor that promise.)

Germaine Kapena

Hello all. I purchased the 21 Step Program and it's the best $50. I Ever Spent. I've learned so much. This education line has enormous value. I'm proof. I'm a Good Level and I am the CEO of 3 Online Businesses. Total investment for me $2,550. And I am unstoppable. I mainly use online marketing techniques I learned from MOBE. Assure you it's a million times better than getting a huge business loan locally and only marketing to locals. I do support my local stores always will. I do understand the negative stories but again sometimes you must keep trying. Use training groups ask questions get through the 21 Step Program without spending any money. I did it and you can do it too. The average person will not understand and complete the program but for business minded people MOBE is a blessing. SS. Facebook Shannon Salado

I joined Mobe around two years ago and 12k invest. I have not made the money that they said I could make and have done everything that they have said I had to do, When you get the help that they offer it is always that you have to purchase more to get any help. If you do not then they shut you out. I would like to find away to either get 12k back or at least part of it if possible but probably will not happen. I was very unhappy with what I have gotten out of Mobe and the training. I am looking to get my investment back.

At the end of the day, MOBE was really only about selling memberships to people to sell memberships to other people so they could sell memberships to even more people. That’s it. The rest (very little) was over-priced information that, with a little research, is actually free on the internet. It’s a scam. Period. If you are crying that MOBE got shutdown,and that keeps you from pursuing your MOBE business, then celebrate! This necessary move by the FTC keeps you from being a scammer. If you joined MOBE thinking you were going to get an education, you are owed a refund. If you joined knowing that you were selling memberships, you are a scammer, and are no better than Matt, John Chow, Max Aria, et al.

I joined MOBE august 6, 2016 and 17k invest. I have not made the money that they said I could make
and have done everything that they have said I had to do. Putting money on ads nothing RIO. I would like to find away to either get 17k back or at least part of it if possible but probably will not happen. I am looking to get my investment back.

I was taken for a ride. I invested the $49 and also purchased a higher-level membership. I need to get my money back but I always got the runaround. If someone can point me to a link where I can request to get my money back I'd appreciate it

I was searching for a home based business opportunity when I came across MOBE that offered promises of great money making opportunities once you followed their 21 Step system. It sounded very good, then I soon discovered that the amount of money you earned was hinged on the level of participation which proved to be very expensive to say the least, I initially paid $2,499.00 for the the Inner Circle program offered by MOBE on June 23, 2015, and then again $9,997.00 on July 2015 for upgraded to the Titanium Level which again promised substantially higher earnings. Along with the monthly fees and all other fees for website hosting, creation of website, domain fees and other advertising fees, it became much too expensive and discouraged me particularly that I never earned one red cent from the time I enrolled until now. MOBE might be good for persons with great computer and marketing skills but for others, it is much too complicated system to fully understand. IT was simply not for me! I'm just hoping that the FTC is able to have MOBE totally shut down and I'm possibly able to recover at least some of the $12,494.00 I paid into MOBE's programs.

After all is said and done, it cost me approximately, $3,000.00, not to mention the time, the study, the hopes and false light at the end of the tunnel which
kept me believing..how do I get that back...well, I won't but my credit card would dearly love to see the cold hard cash put back into that empty space.
It has put me in to a "hardship" condition and I WANT MY MONEY BACK...they can't give me back my time and sincere work but they can give me back my money! I WANT IT BACK!!!!
So how do I get it back? Action lawsuits being filed? Who and where are they?
Thanks, waiting to hear back from someone at the FCC.
C.

Is there a link to which a person can file a claim against Mobe? My credit card charge is over 6 months old and some of it was with a Debit Card.

FTC gave me information that here under thous articles I will find info how to get my money back / refund. I can's find it anywhere. Please help where that information might be posted?

I want to get refunded. I paid over $7,500 to join.

I trained for 8 months spent over $50,000 dollars and never even got set up online to make any money! Spent 12,000 on We but good Traffice and never received the buyers! My husband is on hospice and was going to use this as a supplement to my income! Can’t pay the money back and I have just been sick!! I want my money back so I can pay off this debt...

I am 90,000.00 in debt due to MOBE promises. Credit Cards companies calling every day wanting their money. I was hoping this business plan would work for me and my family. I had no clue this was a scam. What can I do to get my money back I have lost. 90,000.00 is not a small amount of money that comes by everyday.

how can I joined the complaint to get reimburse my money I paid for membership back in 2017, never make any dime.

Mobe will still remain the best business that I have seen in a long time and I wish Matt all the best, its so unfortunate most people will always try to bring something good down when they don't understand the concept.

I did not complete the 21 years and I had to borrow 1350 dollars to be able to pay for the course, I am paying interest on that money and please I want my money back.

My mother, who is 80 years old, was scammed by this racket to the tune of > $10,000, which now resides as debt on high-interest credit cards and which she would have a very difficult time paying off. Her fixed income (SS) cannot pay down the balances to which interest is added monthly. Elderly consumers who were pitched for this business should have a special place among the class of claimants, imo, as they were simply talked into a way to "supplement" their fixed income with an online business for which many of them have difficulty understanding completely. This particular scam promised a coach who was rarely if ever accessible, called at odd hours wanting to "help" (likely knowing it was a bad time to try and "mentor" the elderly) and did absolutely nothing that was promised. It will take me awhile to research the exact charges (I did find her initial "packet" with plane ticket receipts/itinerary), but rest assured I will find out who opened the accounts in her name, which banks (if any) were complicit in this scheme, and hold both parties responsible, including interest on these ridiculous balances. Again, it's mean-spirited to take advantage of folks trying to better their lives, but even worse to take advantage of seniors who already have limited resources with which to "start their own online business" - sorry, "Business EMPIRE." IMO, it's time to pay the piper, Mr. Lloyd, Ms. Zanghi & Mr. Whitney Jr. And, to those claiming on this blog to have made a "ton of $" using MOBE strategies, please reveal your age...thought so.

Yes, I got taken for about $25k total between the membership of Titanium and beyond, to spending money on related MOBE consultants and a live event in Mexico. Pretty amazing that Matt got away with this for so long by selling more MOBE memberships with his consultants to each other. Crazy MLM pyramid scheme that just went on for too long, and the crazy thing about it is that if he refunded all the money that people wanted, he actually wouldn't be in this mess and would still have his millions, not to mention a Fiji island that he bought under MOBE. If he refunded everyone who asked then there would have never been any complaints and the company would still be running. Hopefully this situation gets straightened out where they seize the funds in order to pay for everyone who got scammed like myself. Thank you FTC for ending this scheme, finally!

I bought into Mobe just over a year ago, late June or early July. I was very impressed at the information and training I was getting through the 21 steps. The first 6 steps went very quickly for me because I was committed to making this work. At step seven you were asked to attend a webinar which signaled the first up sell which would get you the silver and gold affiliate level and I went for it to the tune of $2,750 or there abouts.
As I went on, just like the rest of you, I was recommended books to read such as the 4 hour work week etc...
I did the assignments as I was given and at the end I was given the next upsell, and that was if you do not want to pass up a commission you have to be positioned at the top level, which is the Diamond level. I went all in to the tune of $59,995... 60k essentialy.
I also spent 10k on the done for you website, go daddy, a Webber email responder, and approximately $7;200 on WSGT(We Sell Good Traffic). I got 32 buyers out of that transaction and out of those 32 buyers, I had only one upgrade. Most of them asked for refunds and if they e-mailed directly, I made sure I put in a ticket to Mobe support to get them thier refunds and that applies only to the $49.00 21 steps.
I went to a super charge summit in Las Vegas a couple of weeks after the massacre in Las Vegas and I have to say it was not was expecting. I was there to learn more about online marketing and instead what I got was how to use your credit cards to get more credit so you could pay for more training with Mobe. We also got training on if Facebook shut you down how to use a friends account to put your business account back online.
And yet, still believing, I signed up for a $10 k summit in Costa Rica. I went to Costa RICO and I did learn more than I have ever known about online marketing and as we were setting up advertising campaigns we had people getting sales as we were training. I was very encouraged by this.
So, as you can see, I believed in the process and it was starting to work for me after almost 1 year after I had started. This was not a get rich scheme quickly. There were disclaimers every step of the way that stated that less than 10% of those who signed on would attain the level of income that those who advertised it would.
Have any of you ever gone shopping for a car or suv? Do you think how they act is any different than those that are selling you a product they might think you want?,wether it be online or not?.
No one person pulled your arm to make you sign on! You did that just like I did, and yes!, I paid for it!. What really gets me is that the ones laughing to the bank, are Mark Burnette and his law firm and the FTC. Even if you file a claim, the most you can expect to receive is 10% of what you put into it, so my question is, Where does the other 90% go?.
Having said all that, yes Mobe could have been more forward about how much work and time it would take to achieve the results they promised, but it was definitely achievable if you did the work. All the FTC did was deny the opportunity to those like myself to achieve our full potential and yet, they still get all the money!.
So much for consumer protection!.

Ha! I studied MOBE's 21-step program years ago. I had a hinky feeling about the system and intuition told me to drop out. Nevertheless, I am shocked. That Matt Lloyd, a former farm worker, or so he says, seemed like such a nice and decent fellow.

Thanks you all, I don't have to say a lot. They finding me a credit cards up to 50.000.00 .I bought Titanium, paid 3999.00 to for credit cards service and spent on advertisement. All of all I spent 22.000.00 without counting all my time spending on computer and coaching.
They must pay us back. Right now i'm in debt. I couldn't pay my rent and couldn't buy nothing to my family. Mobe destroyed my life at this moment. But they lie, I will fulfill my dream in the name of Jesus

I invested nearly $50,000 into the MOBE program. Purchasing one of the top tier levels. A very expensive lesson learned about on-line business. I definitely put in the effort to tried an be successful but the end results wasn't there. They always wanted you to buy more for leads or something else. I hope with the lawsuit against MOBE I will be able to get some of the money I invested back.

This is the last message that i have received from the mattloyd before mobe got shutdown by the FTC?
Might I have an investment opportunity for you
Hey
If you're you're looking for a real estate investment opportunity, you're in a position to invest a minimum of $100,000, and you're an accredited investor, I have something you might be interested in.

I'm going to be starting an investment fund, to be used for the development of the major new resort on Serenity Island.

We've got a LOT of renovations and extensions planned, and it's going to cost a lot of money. As well as my own money and bank financing, I want to open up the fund to high net worth individuals in my personal network and let them share in the returns.

Hope I will get my accredited investor back?

I spent $49.00 for the 21-Step Program in Feb. 2017, it seemed like it was a legit program, but after about the 4th step I was asked to spend $2500 for the Silver/Gold Masterclass in order to make money. Then was told that I can make even more money if I'm positioned at Titanium, Platinum or Diamond. I was positioned at Platinum and as it turns out I have lost $33,000 with Mobe. I am not Tech Savvy and don't pretend to be and my coach knew this. He suggested I spend $1197.00, which I did because I thought this would really help, for support just days before Mobe was shut down by the FTC. These coaches were very smooth. Mobe concentrated more on you spending more money to make more money. Mobe held inspiration events at different resorts, however, they came with a fee in order to attend. Matt Lloyd even bought his own Island! I have saved all my emails and have receipts and bank statements of my money to Mobe. Please, help me get my $33,000 back!! Many thanks!

Please report your MOBE experience to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give may help the FTC in its case against MOBE. Your report also makes sure the FTC can contact you, if necessary.

I lost $3,000 plus. This was in addition to the hours spent for the 20 of the 21 training step attended.

I have been a Titanium class affiliate member of MOBE since Sept 2017 with initial investment of about US $25,000 and have incurred other monthly expenses for business operational and advertisement cost. I have not made any income since then. Do I need to claim/register with FTC for refunds after the case is settled.

I attended the event in Boston, Massachusetts. The work shop was on Friday from 6-10 pm; Saturday from 9 to 5 pm and Sunday half day. I just went on Saturday and by mid-day I completely realized it was OBVIOUS scam. I left the worshop and I wanted so badly to scream at them :”scammers “ how I realized? First they presented videos with people riding dolphins,elephants and people with expensive clothing and cars... a real opportunity will focus on teaching the real business model and not a crappy video of people in wonderland.... in a real business opportunity you are supposed to work and not being offered the chance to make money for doing nothing... second, the training was OVERPRICED, who s going to pay thousands of dollars for material that you can get free online ... it was surreal... I immediately walked away and I told my neighbor to do the same.

I feel very much deceived and outright lied to my MOBE and all their coaches and reps. The worst part was the high pressure to position yourself by buying into higher levels. I ended up at Platinum due to their high pressure sales staff. When I said I could not afford to invest anymore until I started to earn some money they suggested all different ways to come up with money. Sell my possessions, cash out my retirement fund, as well as all my savings. Then they referred me to their lending team. A third party company, Lion Marketing LLC dba Business Funding Mastery. They pressured me even harder and made things happen so fast I really did not get a clear understanding of what was going on. The send me a spreadsheet of online credit cards to apply for and receive instant approval. They told me they would be credit cards at zero interest for the first 6 months and I would make enough money to pay them all off within the 6 months, WIN, WIN they said! The funding rep would stay on the phone with me as they walked me through what to fill in on each application to obtain the maximum credit line. They would even update the spreadsheet with tasks for the following day for me to call the CC company and request higher limits due to my excellent credit rating.
CONCLUSION:
I made less than $500 in commission from Dec 2016-June 2018 (shutdown date). Here I am at 62 years old, no savings, no 401K, and over $60,000 in credit card debt. Not even one of the credit card accounts started at a zero interest rate and the charge for their services was over $3500. Total thieves for a service I could have done myself, but would not have left myself get in so deep. Their high pressure tactics should be illegal and Business Funding Mastery should have to pay for the deception to so many people looking for retirement financial stability. A Whale of a Tale for sure.

I am a stay home mom i was searching online to see how i can make money at home around February 2018 then I found out about mobe company .when i started to listen to the video Matt lloyd sounds legit that's when I picked up the phone and called they gave me a coach that called me once a week that's now his number disconnected and i purchased the silver masterclass the coach keeps delayed my 21 steps program every week that's when I started doing my research about mobe when I tell the coach he said if you want i can refund you your money if you not believe in mobe anymore i said yes please since then its back and forth with them lately their phone not even working.

Did anybody get refund yet from mobe? I am just curious about it!

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