U.S. Consulate General, Edinburgh

US consulate Edinburgh

 

U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh
E-newsletter
December 2018
 
Dear Friends,
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.
 

New Principal Officer Ellen Wong
 
We are delighted to welcome our new Principal Officer, Ellen Wong. You can find a short biography for Ellen on our website at:  https://uk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/edinburgh/principal-officer-edinburgh/ and she also has the following message:
 
Hi everyone! My name is Ellen Wong, and I am so happy to be here in Edinburgh, serving our entire American community in Scotland as the U.S. Consulate General’s new Principal Officer. Since landing in Edinburgh in October, I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of places around Scotland and have been impressed with the variety and scope of U.S.-Scotland ties that exist throughout Scotland. I’ve heard from universities in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh about how much they love their strong American student contingents and from city leaders about the value U.S. businesses and tourists bring to their communities. It was also such fun celebrating the winning season of the American football team the Highland Wildcats in Inverness and cheering on the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team as they played Scotland in a friendly at Paisley.  And who would have thought I would have the chance to wish Athens, Alabama a happy 200th birthday from Castle Fraser as the city prepares to twin with Stonehaven!  Meanwhile, celebrating Thanksgiving with the American Women’s Club of Central Scotland in Edinburgh, as well as with the Dundee Alexandria Twinning Association in Dundee were really special occasions that made me feel like I had a home away from home.
 
I look forward to visiting more places around Scotland and hope to meet many of you during my next three years in Scotland.  Have a safe holiday season filled with friends and family!
 
Happy holidays,

Ellen Wong

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:
 
Passport-by-Mail Service
American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh
3 Regent Terrace
Edinburgh
EH7 5BW
 
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/how-to-renew-a-passport/fees/
 
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.
 
Our turnaround time for applications is approximately 3 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/how-to-renew-a-passport/
 
 
Other Services
 
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 at: https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/

·         Lost/Stolen/Damaged Passport

·         Second Passport

·         Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

·         Notary Service - https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/notary-services-for-all-nationalities/scheduling-an-appointment-consulate-edinburgh/.

Security Alert

During the holiday season security measures in the United Kingdom remain heightened due to ongoing threats posed by transnational terrorist organizations and individuals inspired by extremist ideology throughout Europe.  Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations such as Christmas holiday markets, shopping malls, airports, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, and other soft targets frequented by Westerners.

Actions to Take:

Exercise additional vigilance at holiday festivals and events, places of worship, and locations with large crowds.
Review your personal security plans.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Monitor local media for updates.
 

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.

Common Scams

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!

Be Aware

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 2018-2019

The Consulate will be closed for public holidays on the following days (see final column):
 
 
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Contact Details

Address                                                                                                   Telephone & Email

U.S. Consulate General Edinburgh                                                          Phone:  [+44] (0)131 556 8315
3 Regent Terrace                                                                         Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                         
Edinburgh                                                                                                 
EH7 5BW                     
 
Website  https://uk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/edinburgh/
 
 
Twitter  @USAinScotland
 
Opening Hours
Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday and U.S. and U.K. public holidays
 
During Office Hours Contact:
From the UK - 0131 556 8315, follow the prompts
From the U.S. - 011 44 131 556 8315, follow the prompts
International dialing code + 44 131 556 8315, follow the prompts
 
After Hours Contact:
From the UK - 020 7499 9000 (Embassy switchboard)
From the U.S. - 011 44 20 7499 9000
International dialing code +44 20 7499 9000
 
General Inquiries
 
If you have any inquiries regarding information in our newsletter, or any other issues we may be able to address, please contact us via our information email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  It is monitored regularly, and we strive to respond to all requests promptly.  The Consulate continues to accept routine applications for American Citizen Services on Tuesdays and Wednesdays - these are by appointment only, please follow the instructions online to book.
 
Official - Privacy/PII

 

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