Our E-newsletter aims to keep you up to date with any news and events which may affect Americans. Feel free to forward this e-mail to friends or co-workers. Please follow us on Twitter @USAinScotland to learn more about our work here.
It’s been a busy start to the year, beginning with Burns Suppers and my first ceilidh! I thoroughly enjoyed both, and look forward to the many more to come during my time in Scotland.
A large part of the U.S. Consulate General’s job in Scotland is helping the U.S. citizens here, so we were happy to see many of you renewing your passports or reporting the birth of your children, especially over the Easter holidays. As we approach the summer holidays, please remember to check the validity of your passports well in advance of any travel and renew it as soon as possible if needed! We still have lots of passport renewal appointments in June so don’t wait until July and August when the number of Americans in Scotland quadruple!
The other main part of our job is expanding and developing U.S.-Scotland ties. I have been meeting with many businesses – both U.S. companies operating here in Scotland and Scottish companies looking to establish operations in the United States – to see how we can help expand the U.S.-Scotland trade and investment relationship. We have great partners, including the Scottish North American Business Council (SNABC), the Council of American States in Europe, and many Chambers of Commerce, and hope to see this economic relationship continue to grow.
The recent launch of new direct flights from Edinburgh to Boston and Philadelphia and the expansion of the Edinburgh-JFK flight to a year-round flight should help with growing these business and tourism ties – and hopefully make your trips to see family easier!
On the education and exchange programs front, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to sit on the panel for this year’s U.S.-UK Fulbright Commission Scotland interviews. It also has been fantastic to engage with young people on the U.S.-Scotland/UK relationship during my first school visits* in Fife and Dundee.
In March, I was honored to welcome inspiring women from all around the world to the 2019 Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) Biennial Conference in Edinburgh. A huge congratulations to the American Women’s Club of Central Scotland (AWCCS) for successfully staging such a super event.
The first week of April then saw us celebrating Tartan Day 2019 at the amazing Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Dunfermline. A wonderful evening was had by all, celebrating the strong and dynamic U.S.-Scotland relationship.
We’re now looking forward to a busy summer season and hope all of you have a super summer!
*If your child’s school would be interested in having me visit to speak to their class about what the Consulate General does, the U.S. political system (particularly how it differs to the UK’s parliamentary democracy), and studying in the United States, please have their class teacher contact us at Edinburgh-Info@state.gov for further details.
Renewing an Adult Passport – Form DS-82
If you meet the following criteria you are eligible to renew your passport by mail through the U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh:
Your passport was valid for 10 years;
Your passport was issued within the last 15 years;
Your passport is in good condition;
Your passport was issued in your current name or you have changed your name and can submit legal documentation (e.g. marriage certificate, Statutory Declaration) to prove this change.
You can mail your renewal application to the U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh using the address:
American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh
3 Regent Terrace
The passport must be sent using the Royal Mail Special Delivery service and you must enclose a prepaid (up to 500g), self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery envelope for your new passport to be mailed to you securely.
If you have a social security number (SSN) you must write this in box 5 of the application form. If you have never been issued a social security number you must provide a signed and dated statement that includes the phrase, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct: I have never been issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration.”
Payment must be made by money order for the exact dollar or sterling amount specified on our website: https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/u-s-passports/renew-an-adult-passport/
If, for any reason, you meet the above criteria but would prefer to apply for your passport in person you can do so during our counter service hours on Mondays 1.30 – 3.00pm. No appointment is necessary. PLEASE NOTE: We are closed on all U.S. and local public holidays, check the holiday list at the end of this newsletter before traveling to our office.
Our turnaround time for applications is approximately 2 weeks.
For full instructions and to download the applicable forms please visit our website: https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/u-s-passports/renew-an-adult-passport/
If you do not meet the criteria for renewing your passport by mail, you will have to book an appointment online, selecting the option for residents of Scotland, to apply in person at the Consulate General Edinburgh, https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/u-s-passports/.
The following American Citizen Services can also be booked by appointment online:
· Lost/Stolen/Damaged Passport
· Second Passport
· Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
World War II – Keeping The Memory Alive
In January, BBC journalist Dan Walker reached out to the Embassy. Dan had bumped into an amazing man, Tony Foulds. For 75 years, diligently and every day, Tony maintained the U.S. Air Force Mi Amigo war memorial in Sheffield. Tony’s wish was for a flyover to honor the fallen.
Six weeks later, the Embassy along with the U.S. Air Force, RAF and twelve thousand people in Sheffield made that wish come true. The amazing Tony Foulds story proves that the sacrifice of those who served in World War II is still tangible today. It’s living history.
· Are there other unrecognized heroes out there? Are there other amazing stories to be told and shared?
· 75 years on from D-Day, we’re asking you to share your stories of how the Americans who served in Britain during World War Two impacted your lives and the lives of your families and friends.
· We want to bring these stories alive, bring these people together and introduce them to the next generation. Let’s keep the memories alive.
How To Get In Touch
· Twitter: @USAmbUK or @USAinUK
· Facebook: U.S. Embassy London Facebook
· Telephone: 0207-891-3809
· Email: Reflond@state.gov
World War Two: Keep the Memory Alive
US Embassy London
33 Nine Elms Lane
London, SW11 7US
Common Scams & How to Avoid Them
Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to obtain personal details. There is no one group of people who are more likely to become a victim of a scam; all of us may be targeted by an elaborate scam at some point in time here in the United Kingdom.
Some common scams include the following:
Romantic scams. This the most common type of scam. Fraudsters can be very convincing and creative. They often create a fictional persona via social media platforms and online dating websites. They spend a long time building a relationship before creating a realistic story about needing money that sounds believable. For example, they may claim they have been involved in a serious accident, held by UK customs officials demanding money, or need funds for a “life-or-death” emergency. You should be extremely wary of such requests, especially if you’ve never actually met this romantic interest in person.
Financial scams. You may receive an email from a web-based email address (such as Yahoo or Hotmail) that asks you to verify your bank account. This is a hoax; scammers use this technique to obtain your personal information to make unauthorized transactions on your behalf.
Identity theft. Whilst this isn’t quite as common, fraudsters tend to obtain personal information from government IDs and use a different picture to falsely pretend to be you – and open bank accounts or credit lines in your name.
Ultimately, the scenarios scammers use are entirely fictional. Remember, in the United Kingdom, border official’s officials do not ask travelers to pay large sums of money for entry into the United Kingdom. Hotel staff will not confiscate passports, and hospitals do not withhold emergency treatment for financial reasons!
Here are a simple few tips that can reduce the risk of you becoming a target:
Question everything: the phone call, the email, links on social media, etc. More importantly, ask yourself: if someone is in extreme danger or requires assistance and they have the ability to contact you, they could just as easily contact the police, a family member, or the Embassy directly, right?
Be alert: remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! The reason why scammers succeed is because they sound so convincing.
Guard your personal information: do not disclose personal details online or over the phone. Fraudsters use a variety of tricks to get you to divulge account numbers and passwords. If you get an email claiming to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank, and the email address does not look official (and the email itself is riddled with typos), this is most likely a scam.
If you have been targeted by a scammer, you should cease all contact with the individual(s) or “financial institutions” immediately. Whilst we understand that it is hard to believe that someone you trust has targeted you in this way, replying will only encourage more scam messages; it is common for fraudsters to pose as different fictional people or organizations, try different tactics to convince you of their legitimacy, or to sell contact details to other scammers.
If you think you have been targeted by a scam, or you know a friend or relative that has, do not attempt to confront the scammer or investigate them yourself. You should report the scam to:
The Webmaster/website administrator, if you were contacted via a particular website;
Your bank and/or any money transfer service you used, if you have sent money;
Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting center, run by the National Fraud Authority in association with the City of London Police and/or
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission if you are concerned about identity theft.
The Eagle Express
Want more U.S.-U.K. coverage from the U.S. Mission to the U.K? Consider subscribing to the Eagle Express, the weekly eNewsletter from our friends at U.S. Embassy London! Subscribe here: https://uk.usembassy.gov/eagle-express/
Public Holidays 2019
The Consulate will be closed for public holidays on the following days (see final column):
Address Telephone & EmailU.S. Consulate General Edinburgh Phone: [+44] (0)131 556 8315