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EMBASSY CORNER Keep Your Passport Current

Don’t Get Scammed

What’s the surest way for a US citizen to ruin a vacation or important business trip? If you want to find out the hard way, try showing up at the airport or some other border crossing with an expired passport. Then brace yourself as the counter agent or immigration officer explains that your expensive trip is a total loss. Even if your passport is good for a few months longer, you may still not be allowed to travel, since many countries - including France and other members of the European Schengen Zone - may turn you away unless your passport is good for at least six more months. (Check the US Department of State’s website at travel.state.gov for latest information on entry requirements for your destination). Now is the time to check the expiration dates on your and your family’s US passports, and to get new passports if they are expiring soon. You can renew any time. For many adults who are visiting or living in the United Kingdom, renewing a US passport can be done by mail, without having to personally appear at the US Embassy in London or our consulates in Edinburgh or Belfast. Visit the Embassy’s website at london.usembassy.gov and click on “US Citizen Services” to see if you qualify for mail-in service. There you’ll also find complete information about applying for a passport, including forms, fees, payment procedures, and instructions for how to request an appointment if a personal appearance is required.

An email arrives in your inbox with incredible news: you’ve won a lottery that you never even knew existed. Or your assistance is needed to help a wealthy businessperson complete an international transaction, for which you’ll be paid handsomely. Or an internet friend of yours – someone you’ve never met in-person – is sick or in trouble with the law, and you need to send money right away to fix the problem. If anything like this is happening to you, chances are you have encountered an international financial scam. Every month the US Embassy in London hears from dozens of American citizens who have fallen prey to schemes like these. To avoid becoming a victim, never send money to someone you have not met in-person without first verifying their identity, and avoid disclosing personal details to strangers over the phone or online. And remember, as it is often said, if something seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. More tips on detecting and avoiding international scams are available on the US Department of State’s website at: www.travel.state.gov/content/passports/ english/emergencies/scams.html

Next Edition: The US Presidential primary season gets under way in a few months, and every vote counts. In the next edition of Embassy Corner, we’ll tell US citizens all about how to cast a ballot from overseas.

EMBASSY INFORMATION American Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 1AE www.london.usembasy.gov Switchboard: (020) 7499-9000 Business Hours: 8:30am- 5:30pm, Monday-Friday. Closed on American Holidays. An officer is available via the switchboard all day, everyday for a life-or-death emergency involving a US citizen. Passports: 8:30-11:00am Monday-Friday and 2:00-4:00pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. IRS: 9:00am-1:00pm and 2:00pm-4:00pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Notary Services: By appointment only http://london.usembassy.gov/cons_new/acs/scs/notary.html Federal Benefits Unit: 8:30am-1:00pm Monday-Friday Travel Advisories: www.travel.state.gov

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American in Britain Autumn 2015  

The Autumn 2015 issue features theatre reviews of Bend It Like Beckham, McQueen and Three Days In The Country; restaurant reviews of Smith &...

American in Britain Autumn 2015  

The Autumn 2015 issue features theatre reviews of Bend It Like Beckham, McQueen and Three Days In The Country; restaurant reviews of Smith &...

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