Italy's Nigerian Scam?
April 4, 2008 6:16 AM   Subscribe

Is this ticket I just got in the mail yesterday from a trip to Italy in September a scam?

I just received in the mail a ticket for a traffic violation in Florence from when I was there in September. They seem to have the correct date and car rental agency, and they claim to be a collecting agent for the Florence Police, but I was wondering if this is just some sort of scam. The place is called European Municipality Outsourcing, and I can't decide if the website is sketchy or just poorly done because it's Italian. Any one have any experience with this?
posted by Grither to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
 
Hm. Can you check with the car rental company? That's where they would have got your contact info (if they're legit).
posted by winston at 6:19 AM on April 4, 2008


Yeah, I've gone through some preliminary investigation, including some googling, sending a message to Avis, and sending a message to the e-mail provided from the collection agency to ask for some proof they are associated with the Italian police. I haven't yet called my local Italian embassy, but may resort to the eventually. I just wanted to check out if any of you had any experience with this and had found out whether or not they were legit....
posted by Grither at 6:27 AM on April 4, 2008


It seems unlikely to be a scam. Whoever sent it would have had to have been in contact with the local branch of the rental agency. The rental agency will be quite used to passing on details when fines arise and almost certainly are familiar with the outsourcing agency.

Seem also NIVI's main site (available in english): http://www.nivi.it/index.php. They seem legit to me.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:54 AM on April 4, 2008


I say contact the italian embassy first. The website seems to have next to nothing on it which seems very fishy.

Also for something like a ticket why would they email you? Something that serious wouldnt they send you regular mail or call you?
posted by majortom1981 at 7:57 AM on April 4, 2008


I say contact the italian embassy first. The website seems to have next to nothing on it which seems very fishy.

Also for something like a ticket why would they email you? Something that serious wouldnt they send you regular mail or call you?

posted by majortom1981

It was an actual letter. And it's not that the site is fishy, it's just that there are no links to the Italian Police site (that I could fin), or anything of that sort on it, which made me hesitate to drop 95euro just cause i got a letter in the mail....
posted by Grither at 8:02 AM on April 4, 2008


It's legit.
posted by romakimmy at 8:07 AM on April 4, 2008


It's legit.
posted by romakimmy

Great, thanks! And I'm having my fiancee (she majored in Italian) read through that site to see if I can get away with not paying. :-)
posted by Grither at 8:36 AM on April 4, 2008


Well then, this is the page about appeals. If I'm reading that correctly, you have 60 days to send a registered letter along with all the required docs. If they deny your appeal, then you get to pay double the fine.

If you're hoping to appeal based on "I didn't know X" (I'm hazarding a guess it was a ZTL transgression), ignorance of the law is not considered a legitimate defense, generally speaking.
posted by romakimmy at 9:10 AM on April 4, 2008


Well then, this is the page about appeals. If I'm reading that correctly, you have 60 days to send a registered letter along with all the required docs. If they deny your appeal, then you get to pay double the fine.

If you're hoping to appeal based on "I didn't know X" (I'm hazarding a guess it was a ZTL transgression), ignorance of the law is not considered a legitimate defense, generally speaking.

posted by romakimmy

No, more of a "will I get arrested on my next trip to Italy/Avis will charge the card I used double the fine if I don't pay it now" kind of thing. Though upon reviewing the site, my fiancee seems to think that what this company is charging me is almost double what the fine is, so I'm looking into paying the Florence Police directly, or getting it reduced a bit directly from the company (which I read in my searching of its legitimacy might work).
posted by Grither at 9:37 AM on April 4, 2008


Avis will charge the card I used double the fine if I don't pay it now

Ah, I forgot to include in my last post that if you don't pay within 60 days from notification, the fine doubles, so that would probably be why Avis says they'll charge double if you don't pay now.

You don't mention the actual violation, but you do mention 95 euros - the going rate here for ZTL fines in Rome is about 80 euros; add in the administrative fees listed on the first page I gave you and 95 euros sounds about right. This page has some more info in English that you might find useful. Good luck in any case.
posted by romakimmy at 10:22 AM on April 4, 2008


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