Hoax - Polizia Municipale, Comune di Riomaggiore

I received a registered letter that looks like an official violation - speeding ticket (from 9 months ago in Italy) except for a couple things. The website is listed as riovigili@libero.it which is not an official police website but in fact a retail site that appears to have virus threats. The website listed to view photo of offense is listed as: https://riomaggiore.babyloweb.eu/fotoview which is unsecured and listed as "theft" and 3rd party user. Do you think this this a hoax? Have you received similar concerns? I would be hesitant to transfer money to the bank they have listed. Thank you.

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

Lisa - 'riovigli@libero.it' is not a website. It is an email address. I looked it up and it is the email address of the municipal police in Riomaggiore. The other website you mentioned is legitimate, but your browser (like mine) blocks it because it lacks a proper security certificate. If you bypass the block, you'll be asked for a user name & password, which I assume they must have sent you. That should give you access to the website. Bottom line - I think the ticket is legitimate. I don't think it's a hoax.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2391 posts

I also assume you were actually in Rome at the time listed in the violation and were driving a car. If so, all the more reason to assume it is legit as no random scam could know that. FYI - traffic tickets in Italy are notorious for being sent months after. You should also expect a charge on your credit card from your rental company for the "service" of giving the authorities your contact info.

Posted by Lisa
Fayston
2 posts

Hi Tom and Doug, Thank you so much for responding. I get really concerned with all the hoaxes and personal information passed on to unknown sources. Thank you for the information. I was able to see the photo of the car although the driver isn't visible. I truly appreciate your help! Lisa

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

Welcome to the world of the last souvenir from Italy - delayed traffic tickets. You have lots of company. I ran the emails and web site, agreed with the above posters - it is legit. The fact that they are sending you a registered letter may also mean that you missed the first letter. There has been lots of discussion of this site about the tickets - most are photo - and whether or not to pay. Big problem is no one has any direct experience with non-payment. What is the return address for the registered letter?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8757 posts

Noting the reference to Rome - Riomaggiore is in the Cinque Terre, not Rome. It may be speeding but might more likely be driving where the car was not permitted. Were you in the CT with the car at the dates specified?

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2176 posts

The official site of Riomaggiore (I just checked it) is: http://www.comune.riomaggiore.sp.it/ Their official email, listed on that site, is: urp@comuneriomaggiore.com URP stands for "ufficio relazioni publiche" (public relations office) On that same website, there is a 3rd livel link for municipal police with the following data: Polizia Municipale Comandante: Aldo Campi Telefono: 0187 760226 Fax: 0187 760098
E-mail: riovigili@libero.it Cellulare di servizio: 335 7872736 – 335 1412504

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Lisa, As Nigel mentioned, were you driving in the C.T. (and specifically Riomaggiore) at about that time? Based on the information the others have posted, it sounds like it's a legitimate ticket, possibly due to a violation of a Zona Traffico Limitato area rather than a speeding ticket. Especially last year, I noticed ZTL areas in many small towns in Tuscany, but of course they don't all use automated Cameras for enforcement in the same way as larger cities such as Florence. Good luck!

Posted by Neil
Lake Forest Park, WA, USA
364 posts

From Frank, "Big problem is no one has any direct experience with non-payment." I have direct experience. Nuttin' happened.

Posted by Neil
Lake Forest Park, WA, USA
364 posts

"Neil---have you returned to Italy since then?" No, but I've read several reports of people who have with no problems. If you think about it, an analogy for a foreign tourist would be like US Customs hassling someone at a US airport port of entry because of a parking ticket they received in Miami several years ago. Not going to happen. US Customs doesn't communicate with local governments regarding minor traffic infractions here and I've seen no evidence they do in Italy either.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8757 posts

So no first hand knowledge, then? I believe we are still awaiting news from a person who has received the final demand, ignored it, went back (especially if they attempted to rent another car) and returned.

Posted by Neil
Lake Forest Park, WA, USA
364 posts

At the risk of sounding pedantic, I beseech anyone considering this issue to think hard about claims that Italian record-keeping has the potential to cause problems for US tourists reentering Italy after not paying ZTL tickets from years ago. For one, most traffic enforcement is in the hands of the Carabinieri. The US doesn't have such a national police force, but suffice to say that they don't communicate real well with local police. In fact, based on my conversations with ordinary Italians, the Carabinieri can't find their behind with both hands much less organize a database that tracks unpaid ZTL fines in local townships throughout the country. There are no problems at the border. End of topic. Credit card companies will never bill you for the fine, never have, and they would have by now if they could. Again, done. The only trouble I can imagine is if you have an outstanding ZTL fine from, say, Florence and you are pulled over by Florence local police and they have a record of your previous transgression. But you don't need to worry about that because you've learned not to drive in the Florence center, yes? :) I'm not suggesting anyone not pay their fines, just trying to inject some practicality into the hysteria. And I'm only talking about US tourists, EU residents have their own rules.

Posted by Andre L.
Tilburg, Netherlands
2176 posts

The problem is not that Italian law authorities will bother you if you return there, but that the rental company might keep adding and adding fees if the municipality every resorts to reach them.

Posted by John
Cranberry TWP, Pa, USA
11 posts

I'm in the middle of one of these "Zona a traffico limitato" fines from a little town "Commune Di Vicenza". Yes Ken, I think the small towns have spent the money to make money with cameras. My problem was paying it. Every post office here does not send money to all countries., and Wstern union was of no help because it was a town(not a person). The bank said "OK" , $45 dollars later... the problem is the documents sent on a wire donot arrive, only the money to an account. I think the total cost so far is $35 from car rental to tell the Italian town my name, E102 Euro fine, $45 dollar wire transfer, and phone calls to come to make sure! The real problem is can I rent a car again in Italy?
I have made a trip to Italy every year(with car rental) since 2001 and this is my first ticket. I do expect more.

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

I'm just guessing, but I think the most likely way that an unpaid traffic ticket could cause you problems would be a scenario in which you returned to Italy, rented another car, and got stopped for whatever reason by an Italian cop. Then in theory they could "run" your license like they do here, see the unpaid ticket(s), and fine you on the spot. Remember they DO have your drivers license info, given to them by your rental car company.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2391 posts

I would agree with a couple of others that the issue for non-EU citizens is not with re-entry into Italy for unpaid ZTL tickets. What we don't know is what can happen. Bad credit report? More charges by your rental agency or even them eventually paying the fine and passing that charge on to you with their own fees? Not being able to rent a car again (seems unlikely)? Getting fined or arrested if stopped or in an accident next time in Italy? None of us know and as slow as the Italian system is, it could take a couple years for an unpaid ticket to catch up with you. In the old days, you had to pay the fine on the spot. Now with camera enforcement, it's hard for them to collect if people are unwilling (or it seems unable in many cases) to pay.

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

<<... or even them eventually paying the fine and passing that charge on to you...>> The rental car company is not legally responsible for your ticket. The ticket is issued to the driver, not the car.