The rats were in a meeting and in this meeting they were discussing about cats. The cats had five features: The cats had grown in number; hunt in groups; were more ferocious; persistent and; never tired of chasing the rats. The older rats heard of the cheese lined streets in America. Better still in America there were no cats! Thus started a mass migration called: the rats to America migration. They boarded ships, aeroplanes, yachts, rafts, trains, cars and any means through which they could be brought to America. The cats they found in America were bigger, faster and more ferocious. Yes, the streets were lined with cheese too!
This is a story that has implications to immigrants and asylum seekers who come to America. The landscape is different though. Amidst human trafficking and internet-based malicious scam sites, one is torn between which facilities to run to. There is a range of opportunities in America: reception facilities; immigrant/refugee support services; UNHCR documentation facilities; minor support opportunities through agencies and homes where couples want to adopt children; faith-based reception services; city-council social services; not-for-profit reception centers and; internet/telephone-based services.
Reports of un-met promises made to new immigrants are rife. Reports of human trafficking are rife too. The expectations of immigrants or refugees or asylum seekers are around the basic issues of: health, housing, documentation, employment and relationships. This makes them vulnerable and many fall prey to cunning and crafty people.
As people make breakthroughs, they should be wary of some internet/telephone-based sites that promise so much in so little a time. Some claim to provide: loans; education grants; health insurance; education grades; safety and security from internet hacking and housing facilities. The catch is one has to pay a lot of money in order to register and access the services. Many of these services are designed in such a way as to fleece off un-suspecting enthusiasts!
If you thought you had escaped the Nigerian Scams (The 419s), this side of the world are hackers and scammers far more skilled (The Ponzi schemes). This is not to say the internet is taken over by scammers. No! There are really genuine sites and businesses online. There are also scams! Like the cats these are the features one may be faced with: They have used the first class Indian-trained computer literates to come up with very official looking websites; they have toll-free lines for calling and receiving calls. They create impression of being in very noisy and busy premises;; they have rented post office boxes where one can send letters; they have land-based addresses most times a ruse to convince an inquiring person of their physical nature; they have bank accounts and with the use of credit card transactions they are able to conduct businesses. Unfortunately or fortunately, even the genuine ones have these features. What a serious person relying on on-line transactions should do: do a background check on the on-line based business through the FBI anti-fraud services or online anti-fraud services, use Craigslist or Amazon credited websites. This way one stands better chances of value returns. If the business has a phone number, call them to express your concerns. It will give you confidence.
The cheese lined streets of America exist. The rats should understand that they are living side by side with cats. The cats will never tire of chasing them. All the rats have to learn is to outrun the cats!