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Rome "Taxi" scam at FCO

My husband and I arrived FCO and were looking for the taxi stand (we'd been to Rome before) when a gentleman
asked if we needed a taxi. We said yes, and he very politely took my bag and said he would get us one. Bottom line, he lied and said things had changed, the official white taxies were only for trips close to the airport but to get into downtown Rome we needed to take a different taxi, which he walked us to, an area with multiple black vans, which looked official, all the while refusing to give us a price until he put it in the GPS to know the distance/price. Total bs, and he charged us 75 Euros for the trip to Rome, which the white taxi would have charged 48 -- which it says plainly on the side of the taxi. We just never got close enough to see it.
Name of company that scammed us is Concora. Be alert on your way to the taxi stand!

Posted by
2040 posts

I am sorry this happened to you.

But I always find it interesting how it is the new poster who has been ripped off and needs to warn us of the scam, yet a minimal amount of searching here would have shown the rate that should have been paid. For that matter , a Google search on the phrase "taxi rate rome airport to center" produces as the top response "Taxi (€48 per taxi). The fixed fare for a Rome taxi is €48 between FCO and central Rome (within the Aurelian walls) for up to four people and their luggage. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes to most parts of this central area. If your hotel is outside this area, you will have to pay whatever is on the meter." The full Trip Advisor article this comes from explains how to get the official taxis that adhere to his.

Sorry, but since non-official taxis can apparently legally do whatever they wish, this is a scam only in the sense that you did not get the necessary information beforehand. FWIW, this forum abounds with the warning to never accept a ride from a solicitor.

Posted by
20625 posts

This simply adds to the constant refrain here (and elsewhere) ALWAYS use the official cab starter whether it is Rome or New York. Where was your antenna pointed the first time he refused to give you a price? You do have to be alert.

Posted by
3537 posts

So sorry thus happened, it is not a gd welcome to Rome.
My experience was similiar. I got a bait and switch. I verified rate verballly with taxi at airport of 48 euros.
Upon reaching my hotel in Rome it went to 72 euros he said due to luggage and second person charge.
Beaware all variations are out there .

Posted by
11553 posts

Very sorry this happened to you but...

...never, never, never take a taxi from the airport that you have been solicited for. Go to the official taxi stand. This has been beaten to death on the forums as it's such a common mistake.

Posted by
1447 posts

This is why we always pre book a private driver when arriving at any airport. We know the price and sometimes prepay. After a dozen or so trips we have never been burned, knock wood.

Posted by
613 posts

Sorry that this happened Sharon. Frank is correct, it is common for unauthorized cabbies to intercept tired travelers, not just in Rome. Even though we warned my friend, we had to rescue him from an unauthorized cabbie at the Florence train station. I always take an authorized taxi, Uber, or arrange in advance for transport—it saves getting scammed.

Appreciate you sharing as I know how it is to be tired and how easily it is to get scammed.

Sandy

Posted by
16827 posts

It is very easy to fall for something like this if you are jetlagged and sleepy. Someone approached me at Washington-Dulles Airport when I arrived home from London last month. No, I don't want to take a ride in an unlicenced, non-price-regulated vehicle!

Travelers who have read the "Arriving in XXXX" section of their guidebooks know to be on guard against pirate cabbies and their "dispatchers".

Really, if you don't have a guidebook, you don't know what you don't know, and overpaying an airport cabbie may be just the beginning of your problems. More money than that could be wasted by buying a single train ticket from an overpriced source.

Posted by
1493 posts

Hi Sharon,

I see that you stated you've been to Rome before. So, I guess you felt comfortable (and trusting) this time to take "the gentleman's polite stance" as truth. It appears he was betting on your being tired/jet lagged and wanting to get to your hotel in a flash. He won. New and seasoned travelers must be on alert. I know, "easier said than done."

If you feel it will help, perhaps leave a review on Trip Advisor of what transpired. Potential customers may see it, and Concora will start to lose business because of their rogue driver(s.) It all comes down to money...

There have been reports that a few cabbies do the bait and switch with money...the customer gives the driver a €50. The cabbie states the customer gave him "only a €10." And the game goes on...the customer is confused due to unfamiliarity with the currency (especially in the dimly lit cab) and of course being tired.

Perhaps people should start taking pics or videoing the transaction with the exact Euro in hand being given to the driver. That might curb some rip off wise guys. Say "smile for the cam" < first pic of Rome ;) Jokes aside, travelers have to be savvy and protect themselves anywhere.

I've not taken a cab in Rome or another part of Italy. But, I have reserved a RT shuttle ride in Rome. I paid the day of arrival at FCO. I got a receipt and made sure it was noted PIF for the RT ride. For the return, I had a different driver. He asked to see my receipt. Pulled it right out. For almost the cost of a one-way taxi, I had a shuttle. It took 'about' 35 minutes from FCO to my hotel, front door drop-off and same for return pick up.

Posted by
936 posts

Sharon,

Thank you for the information. It good to remind people of the tourist problems that are out there. I don’t want to say scams because they aren’t, only a way to take advantage of vulnerable tourists.

As an alternative, can someone recommend reliable private transport from FCO to the Pantheon area?

OMG, this is post 400 and I haven’t been to Europe yet!

Posted by
1172 posts

A contrasting line of advice that often appears on these forums is 'just go to the taxi stand' if you're not opting for mass transit, because pre-arranging a taxi or shuttle is somehow inconvenient or risky because your flight might not arrive as planned.
As we see here again, sometimes going to the taxi stand is easier said than done.

A little research, as we keep saying, goes a long way. I find that there are usually taxi companies with desks/counters inside the terminal, often near baggage claim, where you can order online beforehand a ride that is about the same cost as the official standing fare, sometimes even less, that is almost as good as having someone standing there with your name on a sign. You go to the counter, say you have pre-arranged, and they have a staffer walk you through the scrum right to a waiting vehicle. Or maybe they just give you a chit that you can wave around as you walk through the scrum yourself to show touts that you're already hooked.

Posted by
11681 posts

Official Rome city taxis are reliable; you just have to make sure you get one. They will take you from FCO to the Pantheon area ( which is within the Aurealian walls) for the flat fee of €48.

To find an official Rome taxi, go to the actual taxi stand and join the queue. Do not let ANYONE dissuade you from standing in that line for an official taxi ( that was the OP's mistake). You can recognize the official taxis as they pull up. They are white with a maroon-red medallion with the official seal of Rome on the doors (or somewhere) and a lighted "Taxi" sign on top.

See photos and read more here:

https://europeforvisitors.com/rome/transportation/rome-taxis.htm

Posted by
1447 posts

IN Rome we used romashuttle.com. We were six adults and if I remember correctly we paid 60€ (No more) for a minivan to our hotel on the via del Corso near the Pantheon. We paid in cash on that day. They were there waiting for us near the luggage carousel.

Posted by
16827 posts

I don't see what's hard about going to the official taxi-dispatch area as long as you know to ignore the scoundrels who try to hijack you inside the terminal. There may be some airports where one might encounter a crooked driver of a legitimate taxi, but that doesn't seem like a great risk in a city where there's a fixed fare for going to the center of town. You don't even need to worry about running into a driver who fiddles with the meter...if you know about the fixed rate into the city. (Read your guidebook!)

Posted by
15577 posts

In the end, getting overcharged 27 EUR is not the end of the world. Think of all the times you've been overcharged and were not aware of it. And I'm talking about here is the US.

Posted by
574 posts

Official Rome city taxis are reliable; you just have to make sure you get one. They will take you from FCO to the Pantheon area ( which is within the Aurealian walls) for the flat fee of €48.

Not always. We got into an official taxi in the official taxi line. Just to be on the safe side, I asked how much the fare to our hotel near Roma Termini would be. He pointed to the meter. I told him it was a flat rate to downtown, he shrugged and that's what he charged us. But I think had I not clarified that in advance he would have demanded what the meter said.

Posted by
97 posts

Last March, heading for the official taxi line at FCO I was approached by a very well dressed man wondering if I needed a taxi. I said yes and was following him when we walked past the official taxi line. When I questioned him as to the fare he said 68 euro – I said no it is 48 euro. He restated that is was 68 euro at which point I walked away. He was not happy.

In the official taxi stand most of the taxis were marked with the official fare of 48 euro on the door but there were several that were marked like taxis but did not have the official fare on the door. They were in the same line and the drivers knew each other so I just confirmed the fare was 48 euro, several times since the driver did not appear to speak English, BEFORE my bag went into the boot. The ride to my hotel was uneventful.

During the ride to the hotel I chastised myself – I had read about this trick. I had been flying all night, I was tired, and I should have been more aware not to let myself be distracted as I was headed for the official taxi line. I also thought that since I only had a carryon with me I should have maintained control of it by placing it in the backseat with me instead of the boot.