We can help to pass messages to these missing Americans. Consular officers use the information provided by the family or friends of a missing person to locate the individual, and pass the caller’s message. We check with local authorities in the foreign country to see if there is any report of a U.S. citizen hospitalized, arrested, or otherwise unable to communicate with those looking for them. Depending on the circumstances, consular officers may personally search hotels, airports, hospitals, or even prisons. The more information that the caller can provide, the better the chances are that we can find the missing American.
Privacy Act – The provisions of the Privacy Act are designed to protect the privacy and rights of Americans, but occasionally they complicate our efforts to assist citizens abroad. As a rule, consular officers may not reveal information regarding an individual American’s location, welfare, intentions, or problems to anyone, including family members and Congressional representatives, without the expressed consent of that individual. Although sympathetic to the distress this can cause concerned families, consular officers must comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act