Watch out people! This morning I found two messages from the 'Foreign and Commonwealth Office' (FCO) asking me to update information on the 'Locate' files. I have never registered with them, so thought quickly, having worked abraod a lot I am used to FCO bulletins and registrations, so looked closer. The http is in the wrong order and format, so I am guessing that it is a spam that looks convincing until we are in. I have e-mailed the FCO informing them and asking advice and will put up a response from them when they reply. In the meantime be very careful not to get yourself on a mailing list, infected with spyware, malware, worms or viruses by jumping in and spread the word to people who do not use SFN including beyond France. Whoever is putting this out is trying hard to be convincing, but misses the point that people living in the EU generally have no good reason for registering to begin with. However clearly it states what it does I am not convinced. If I am wrong then the FCO should also not be sending out unsecured messages of this kind and then I would never consider registering to begin with.

Right! And now I have just had a review come in - worst of all it is for old friends so I cannot say no. Must have an early lunch then work... See you later!

That's alright, I am nuts myself. Bloomin' -12 here with having warmed up a bit and anyway we have a pitched roof, so perhaps not that mad! Seriously though, for you probably right for you, for us, why? I only have a sister in the UK and that's that, hardly going to bring the massed nation to my aid, whereas in Switzerland they're like ants...

perfect sence Valerie and yes I think we are a bit barking mad but that's the fun of this site although I don't seem to have got much work done this morning...!

I think you both have mild eccentricity, which is not a criticism - I'm completely bonkers.

No, Andrew, no compulsory admin thing. It's purely for people who are not in the UK through work or living elsewhere in case there's some type of emergency and the UK Government can (supposedly) locate you as they have your last known whereabouts. As a weird example, say a tsunami hit Malta tomorrow and all records of me on the Maltese Gov computers was under water. The UK Gov know a lot of us are here and could check the Locate database to find out who, and whether we've been found. I don't know if that makes sense but I'm cold and I'm going to sit up on the roof for 10 minutes because my fingers are numb.

that's the way I see it too Brian but I just had a moment's doubt that I should still be registered somewhere in Blighty for some daft reason - the daft reason being that I want to be able to claim my UK pension that I'm still paying into when the time comes and not be told that because I hadn't registered at such and such an office that I no longer have the right... bla bla bla...!

I see, no need for us then as all my OH's family are here around us. just wanted to know if I'd missed some sort of admin thing! and don't worry about Brian agreeing with you, he has been known to agree with me from time to time and vice versa!

Valerie, quite right, it is Andrew and I who should be agreeing are you out to usurp his role? Haha, must try to work a bit. I'll keep up to date if news arrives though. :)

Andrew, perhaps for getting the passports a tad quicker later but otherwise pourquoi? You are in the social system which is shared to some extent between all EU memebers and despite the struggles to use that sharing at the bottom of it all it is all we need.

Brian's worrying me. He keeps agreeing with me.

Andrew, it all depends for what purpose. I'm registered so that if anything happens in the area (see my earlier comment) I have some reassurance that Shaun might be okay because there are only us two. If you have loadsa family, friends etc it might not seem so necessary.

we all know Bordeaux is full of...!

Good post Brian, I'm not registered with anyone though, should I be and should my anglo-french kids be too...?!

Yes, Valerie exactly right. As for Bordeaux, dare I say 'winos' (not seriously though).

The reminder came from "fco.gov.uk" and was a 'no reply'.

Any actual link they provide - and the site itself - is https://www.locate.fco.gov.uk/LocatePublic/loginform

That's the only site you should register on.

@ Brian - the mind boggles that Bordeaux says they are full. Full of what? Okay, don't answer that...

Yes, but the sequence is not as it should be, which is where my suspicions arose. Plus it asked me to RENEW and I have never registered to begin with!

OK, so I was wrong, I didn't take account of the 'Locate Service'. Do these emails have fco.gov.uk in their address?

There are several consulates throughout France for personal registration albeit Bordeaux told us they were 'full' two years ago.

In Malta it would be 'do-able' for me to go to the consulate but in France presumably I would have to travel to Paris. Instead, I simply have my details registered on the FCO site then, God forbid, there is a natural disaster or similar, the FCO at least have an idea of the number of people they have registered in that area for assistance, evacuation etc. If I was beyond help, at least they would be able to see that Shaun, who is only 7, has my mother in the UK and could therefore contact her. It's a little piece of reassurance for me.

Precisely the point Valerie.

Wrong Pat, it does and I have often used 'Locate' when working in countries x, y and z to tell them exactly where I am going that I often do not know until I am in the country. Consulate will do but in the EU no need.

I received a reminder in January, Pat - the secure link goes directly to the https fco.co.uk site - so the scammers are aware they're being sent out.