Monthly Archives: August 2013

Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Internet Scams

Over the last twelve months New Zealanders were taken for more than 4.4 million dollars in Internet scams. The World Wide Web provides underhanded users with a forum of convenience and ease with which to pilfer money from the naïve, the greedy and the downright stupid.

Prior to reading my opening statement one could have be forgiven for believing that this kind of duplicity would be restricted to the rest of the world or in fact, any country but ours.

The sad truth is that NZ is as much a target for Internet fraud as any nation.

Probably the most well known and indeed the most enduring, is the ‘Nigerian Scam’. It dates back to the 1920s where it was referred to as the ‘Spanish Prisoner Scam’.

In today’s Nigerian Scam, an unsuspecting soul will receive an email from a wealthy Nigerian family or similar, requiring assistance with the task of moving a large sum of money out of the country.

‘But why?’ You need to ask yourself.

A common adaptation of the same basic con is a woman claiming to have been recently bereft of her husband, and who wants to leave millions of dollars from his estate to her church. In both cases they require money, curiously, for legal or transaction fees but of course promise in return a salubrious cut of the aforementioned funds.

Understandably the allure of such a hefty payoff helps the sucker in question to overlook any deficits in logic; then once the money has been paid, providing the scammer doesn’t suddenly incur more ‘unexpected costs’, that will be the end of it.

No money will ever be received because, simply, there never was any – that’s why they needed yours.

So what about the, ‘Advanced Fees Paid for Guaranteed Loan or Credit Card Scam’? Advanced…? Fees..? Paid..? Gosh, it all sounds mighty appealing..?

Take a moment. Think about it. A little known bank offering pre-approved loans or credit cards, but requiring an advanced payment..? Admittedly, as scams go, this is among the weaker as holes in its fabric become obvious with inspection.

Realistically there is no legitimate bank in the world which charges an up-front fee.

Ah, the ‘Lottery Scam’. How can we lose, right?

Well apparently, according to the email, you’ve already won. Congratulations on that. Couple of million dollars is all yours and all you need to do is pay a small, one time processing fee of one, sorry, make it two, thousand dollars.

This is ridiculous; the fact that you don’t even play the lottery seems also to have escaped you – courtesy of the forgetting influence of becoming an overnight millionaire.

Then there’s the ‘Phishing Emails and Phony Web Pages Scam’.

Phishing is where online shitheads use convincing emails and Web pages of, ironically, online threats or dangers to lure that foolish somebody into divulging their password, ID and banking details to genuine-looking, but fabricated sites such as Citibank, eBay or Paypal.

It’s amazing what somebody will do when they’re put under pressure; naturally, protecting oneself against nefarious Internet entities is top priority. Furthermore, since the site appears credible, what harm can come from disclosing your details..?

No prizes for guessing what happens next.

The principle of the ‘Items for Sale Overpayment Scam’ is equally as stupid as the person who falls for it.

It goes like this: somebody advertising an expensive item online receives an email from abroad, informing them that yes, they are keen to purchase this item but on account of international freight costs, additional fees and the like, will need to pay significantly more than the asking price. In return, on receipt of payment of course, the seller is asked to send the sold item along with the cash difference; thereby covering the buyer for postage fees. The seller will likely receive payment in the form of a money order which they will promptly deposit. The monetary value of the sold item will remain in their account; the difference will be withdrawn in cash. The item, along with the extra cash will then be sent abroad.

It will later be revealed that the money order deposited, was fake. The bank now requires that money to be paid back. Therefore, in total the online seller has lost his valuable item; has lost the additional value of that item; has lost the freight costs incurred by the item.

Lesson learned..?

The ‘Employment Search Overpayment Scam’ is classic Internet theft.

As an unemployed but technologically efficient youth, you no doubt have your resume posted somewhere online. It mightn’t surprise you therefore, when you receive a job offer from some company somewhere – you’ll never admit to having never heard of them. They might want you to become a financial rep and to handle those tricky payments from the US, which for an undisclosed reason they have been finding challenging. You might be promised a pay rate of up to 15 percent per transaction.

Sounds awesome. Of course on application you provide this apparent employer with your personal data, including bank account details into which you will be paid, and the ball keeps rolling from there. On reaching the bottom of the hill, you might be experiencing a hint of identity theft, stolen funds from your bank account or better yet, you might be receiving cheques which you deposit into your account, with the instruction that you send all but your 15% cut to this false employer.

In this case, the bank will need to be reimbursed for all those phony cheques you’ve been depositing and drawing upon.

The inventor of the ‘Disaster Relief Scam’ clearly wasn’t big on details. It’s a very basic con. An innocent computer user receives an email pleading for a donation to assist those stricken victims of a recent disaster, the compassionate soul pledges how ever much, revels in the warmth brought about by the act of doing good, and will probably never even find out that they gave their money to a fabricated charity.

‘Travel Scams’ are less criminal and more deceptive. A keen traveller might receive an offer of superb airfares to a fabulous destination via pressurised Email – buy now, offer expires in two hours – only to later find that while the flights are cheap, accommodation is grossly exorbitant. They’ve already paid for the deal and cancellation in this case, is never easy.

‘Make Money Fast Chain Email Scams’ are seemingly designed to entrap preschoolers, or perhaps the mentally impaired among us.

Classic pyramid scheme. You send five dollars to the person at the top of the list, add your name to the bottom then forward it on. Your turn will come soon enough. Great riches coming your way. For sure. You’ve seen the evidence. You’ve read the testimonials; they all appear above board – some people have made millions.

Honestly..? Just think about it. One person gets rich. The same person who is controlling the scam and continually adjusting the list so his name is always on top.

The ‘Turn Your Computer Into a Moneymaking Machine Scam’ is more of a scheme for arseholes than a scam. Simply, one idiot sends another idiot money in exchange for instructions on where to go and what to do to turn your computer into this fabled moneymaking machine.

The advice essentially shows you how to become a professional spammer – not scammer, spammer.

You probably will end up making money, it just won’t be yours. That is to say, you’ll never see it. Like modern day parasites they will be feeding off you, who is in turn feeding off the rest of the cyber world.

Money aside, how many hearts do you think have been ripped out and trodden on by ‘Online Dating Scams’? Pictures of beautiful women who probably died years’ ago; glorious, engaging personalities fronting the pernicious business of which her husband and she are probably partners.

The world of Internet scams is a truly dark place. Honestly, you’re a shithead if you initiate them and you’re a shithead if you perpetuate them.

Don’t be a shithead.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by A R Seoul

Photography by Yeran R Swaip & Chet Tadd


Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Antiperspirant

Are we really so anti-perspiration? To prevent oneself from perspiring is tantamount to abstaining from urination – or swearing off fluids altogether because obviously, if nothing goes in, nothing can come out. Problem solved..? That just sounds ridiculous.

That’s because it’s insanity.

Sweating is our body’s natural means of cooling while at the same time, casting off a few lingering toxins. Most try to avoid it for the reason that sweat and stench are known to go hand in hand. Fact. Perspiration only stinks if your body gives it reason to. In other words, if your liver is so polluted that bacteria must be sweated out through the pores where it will dry to emit a charming malodour, well, you’re probably a good candidate for a detoxification programme.

It is a fallacy that all toxins must be sweated out; truth is, only a fraction of all bacteria found in the body are expunged via perspiration. It is the job of the liver to filter out these impurities. If this is done properly, the act of sweating is purely a cooling mechanism.

As for the chemistry of antiperspirants: without exception your aerosol can will be layering on your underarms a healthy dose of aluminium chloride – or aluminium sulphate depending on manufacturer and variety. Regardless of who made what type, both compounds have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Aluminium chloride is the active ingredient in most antiperspirants, working to temporarily block pores and inhibit sweat glands. Deodorant or antiperspirant makes little difference; by squirting the contents of that aluminium can under your armpits, you’re effectively spraying metal onto one of the most porous therefore permeable parts of your body.

Excessive sweaters think it’s a curse. It’s not. I too experience this condition. If anything it’s a sign of good body function. In most cases it indicates good circulation, hence your body’s constant need for cooling. Also as a profuse perspirer, despite your overactive sweat glands, it is likely that you will face less of a body odour problem than someone who is never bothered by sweating.

Generally the more one perspires, the less offensive that perspiration will smell. This is because the few bacteria which escape your liver’s daily purge probably exit your body in a calm and dignified manner, while you are asleep. Conversely for someone whose pores seldom open, on the rare occasion that they do, this person will emit months’ worth of accumulated odour in a single repulsive puff.

Most men don’t appear terribly concerned with the state of their underarms and nor should they be. They’re men. The desire however, for women to maintain dryness while at work or in public; on the dancefloor or engaging in other strenuous activities, is understandable. They’re women.

Ultimately if you are habitual user of factory-designed aromas, ensure firstly that you are aware of what they are doing to your body but mostly, for God’s sake, don’t overdo the spray.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by Sweigh T Craque

Photography by Naip E Rasch

Mit Reklaw’s Truth on WINZ

Work and Income New Zealand is a Government department; thus funded primarily by the NZ taxpayer. Its objective is to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves – the unemployed, the incapacitated, the physically or mentally disabled, and the elderly.

Realistically though when most people think of WINZ, three letters spring to mind: DPB. While it is true that the Domestic Purposes Benefit is funded by this department, it is my opinion that school-aged girls who have only ever aspired to a ‘Government Funded’ lifestyle of this nature, are among the nation’s least deserving beneficiaries.

Taxes. That’s the word for the day. Here’s another. Pension. Now think about the logical relationship between those two words.

An elderly citizen receives a pension for two basic reasons. Firstly: generally they have already paid a lifetime’s worth of taxes to our Government and probably deserve some sort of rebate. Secondly: after slaving away for a lifetime, it is only reasonable to expect that the twilight of said lifetime should be Government funded.

If you and your spouse, civil union or de facto partner both exceed 65 years of age, having had taxes skimmed from your pay packet each week of your working life, you can each relax with a net weekly payment of $274.94.

Out of interest, the base rate for a sole parent on DPB is $278.04.

That’s not a lot of income. This is why it’s advisable for one approaching retirement age to have supplementary savings; advisable furthermore to use contraception.

So what happens if a citizen reaches that golden age having endured a life of particular hardship, for instance: if from an earlier age their spouse was deemed an invalid requiring constant care, effectively precluding that citizen’s ability to hold down a job and subsequently build that recommended nest-egg..? What if that retirement-aged-citizen had been bereft of their spouse shortly before reaching that age, thereby stripping them of one pension? Then what if the home in which this person had lived for most of their life had to be sold to cover costs?

You are left with a single pensioner with no savings, no house; forced to subsist on a decidedly meagre income.

A single pensioner living alone will receive $357.42.

This person, truth be told, is my great aunt. She has spent countless hours in talks with WINZ, trying to squeeze out just a little more financial assistance; to no avail. So while the indolent lack-wits of the nation are able to sit back and do practically nothing for their $160-$180 weekly dole payment; while other youth who also happen to have deficient work ethics tell lies in order to bolster their payments, my octogenarian aunty with her genuine plight, is essentially shafted by WINZ.

Her problem, she doesn’t try to scam the system.

She declared the several thousand dollars which had been set aside in an untouched bank account, so that on her departure her family aren’t crippled by funeral costs. The fashion would have been to lie about this sum. Of course WINZ consider it a ‘cash asset’.

That is just one example of where my aunt’s forthrightness is resulting in her persecution, while another claimant’s falseness seems to result in their benefits.

I am not for a second claiming that all beneficiaries are deceitful – only some of them. These people have ruined it for the country’s genuinely stricken. It seems that WINZ have become so accustomed to dishonesty, that’s what they now expect from applicants. From fudging income facts to being insincere about repayment, rental and overall living costs, this Government department seems to have become a target for scammers, while remaining a virtually impenetrable fortress for those good, honest folk who just want a fair go…

My aunt just wants what she has spent a lifetime earning.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by N Just

Photography by D Sheat-Phil


Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Sycophantism

What the hell is does that word even mean?

            By definition, sycophantism is the process of using flattery to win favour from people wielding influence…

Realistically, it’s being a greaser, an arse-kisser; it’s sucking up to your boss because you’re a pretty girl and he’s a fat, loveless loser who buckles under the slightest sexual advance. That, my dear, is an example of your latent sycophant stepping forward. While more commonly seen in some than others, believe me, this is a trait held by everyone. Smarmy or manipulative men could be considered sycophants; pretty women definitely have this ability and in fact, most will use it.

For instance: a suave, handsome man knows that he can acquire certain liberties by turning on his God-given, agreeable and largely irresistible charm; as an attractive woman, you know that by making a less than desirable man feel as though he maybe has a shot with you or at least, by making him feel desirable, you have effectively earned yourself concessions beyond that of your peers.

Most girls undoubtedly perceive this shameless display of gushing, flirting and all round obsequious behaviour as a harmless lark and probably in most cases, for them, it’s a bit of fun – seeing how far they can push their allure and so forth. No big deal, right? They know there’s no substance behind their actions…

So I wonder how it appears from the other side? What about the naïve souls who are hurt by it – those poor suckers who allow themselves to be taken in by sycophantism, made to feel exceptional; only to be given the doormat treatment before being carelessly, callously tossed aside?

To have one’s hopes elevated then subsequently trampled is difficult for anyone to handle; so what about the others? What about those people who are not taken in and therefore feel no benefit? If somebody is coming out of a situation significantly more exalted than their contemporaries and for no significant reason, surely that will arouse distrust, contempt or even resentment… Of course it will. It smacks of injustice.

Sycophantism has the potential to cause anarchy amid an otherwise civilised environment.

That is the shit of it. Just as ‘obsequious’ is a term for ‘over attentive in order to gain favour’, ‘sycophantism’ is basically a mellifluous euphemism for saying ‘lying through one’s teeth in order to gain favour’. This is why it is such a bullshit practice. It’s selfish in that there is generally only one winner; it’s thoughtless in that there are generally a whole lot of losers; it’s deplorable in that one must generally pull on a cloak of insincerity to make it work.

While it is a technique employed by most everyone – with or without their conscious approval – I can almost guarantee that the majority of sycophants have never given their ‘use of flattery to win favour’ a second thought. One thing I can guarantee is that these people have never paused to consider whether their sycophantism was going to maim in the long run.

It is my opinion that disingenuousness, dishonesty, disloyalty; deceitfulness has become a veritable scourge on modern life. Sycophantism is a prevailing manner in which the aforementioned is pervaded.

It is a joke. This is the punchline. All one has to do in order to curb this variety of misconduct is to stop trying to be so damned likeable all the time, say and act the way you feel, piss off a few people and for once, just show your true self.

Or is that too much to ask? Have I said something negative? Did I offend you?

Pull your bloody head in.



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by P S Doff

Mit Reklaw’s Truth on Privacy

If I may, I would like to address those regular New Zealand citizens who live such morally reprehensible, perilously deviant and conspiratorial lifestyles that they require the utmost privacy from the outside world – you know the ones…

Those same people who find it unthinkable that their Government should want to spy on them, because they take part in such delicate and volatile situations that it is imperative that their actions remain unseen and unknown…

You know, those typical, everyday Kiwi folk.

What’s that you say? You don’t know anyone like that? You say that you have nothing to hide because you are in fact not a terrorist? You have nothing to hide – what’s that? – because you are doing nothing wrong? That can’t be right. That sounds far too logical; surely..?

Believe it or leave it, that is the logic of it. You see, unless you or your family make a habit of dastardly deeds or illicit practices, you really have nothing to fear from this fabled GCSB hype.

What’s that you say now, breach of human rights..?

Yeah, no shit. How about you dry your precious little eyes, wipe your snotty little nose and wake the hell up. Our human rights have been the property of the NZ Government for years; perhaps your head was just too far up your arse for you to notice. We used to have freedom of speech, too. That liberty was withdrawn with such subtlety that nobody seemed to even notice that now when somebody publicly mentions, ‘Dwarf tossing’, ‘Naked mud wrestling’, ‘Catching a nigger by the toe’ or how they’d like to ‘Use that damned Treaty of Waitangi as toilet paper’, it sparks ripple upon ripple of unspoken unrest.

Unspoken because nowadays, unless you’re a politician, it is not seen as ‘proper etiquette’ to speak one’s mind in public; thus we don’t.

The good old GCSB. Huh. I wager $500 that as up in arms as you might be about this so called, personal violation, right at this moment, you have no idea what that abbreviation even symbolises. Government Communications Security Bureau. People, it’s not a personal attack. It’s not even true spying for God’s sake. What, do you reckon they have their own special 21st century Sean Connery to come and infiltrate your living quarters? Honestly, what would our Government have to gain by looking over your shoulder? Do you really think they’re going to ping you for always parking in that Handicapped spot then swiftly and ably disembarking? Do you think that they’re going to finally get around to blaming you for stealing all those office supplies for which you have so little use? Or are you worried about them eavesdropping on your phone calls then informing your spouse of the adulterous conversations you’ve been conducting with the high school music teacher? Really? Again, what would they have to gain by entering your personal space?

Less than bugger all, that’s what. So most likely, they won’t.

Prime Minister John Key reckons that the passing of this new bill making it legal for Government Officials to keep a watchful eye on whomever they choose is for our own good, being vigilant of potential terrorists and such. Not a lot of people buy into that claim admittedly; but so what? If you don’t want it to be an obtrusion, don’t let it be. It’s that simple. If you don’t want your life disrupted, then take no notice of the GCSB.

Here’s a fun fact. The aforementioned was created in 1977. Who knew? It has therefore been in operation for over 25 years. Did you know that? The Government Communications Security Bureau. Securing Government Communications for over 25 years. Huh. So. Has it ever affected your life?

So in five years’ time when I ask you that same question, what makes you think you’ll have a different response?



Article by Mit Reklaw

Edited by Constance Pyer

Photography by Eve S Druppin