Italy – Scams at the Roma Termini Train Station

BY Beth Williams

The Roma Termini train station is the main station in Rome, and unfortunately, is a location that pickpockets and scammers frequent due to its size and amount of tourists that they have to pick from.

There are numerous scams used at the Roma Termini station, most, or if not all are similar to those used at other train stations around the world. Over the years, the train station has had a lot of bad publicity about thefts at the station, and local government has taken increased action to reduce the thefts.

Some of the scams reported at this station include:

Thieves posing as passengers and removing luggage from other travelers just before the train departs. Some reports have stated that the thieves were either well dressed or sometimes wearing some type of uniform making them look like a (fake) train employee.

Other scams have involved scammers boarding a train and during the trip, they remove property from the overhead storage area above the passenger seats.  This is done when a traveler is sleeping or not paying attention to what’s going on above them.  Again, this scam works off the premise that the scammer is pretending to be a fellow traveler and was only removing their own property from above.

Lessons learned:

  • NEVER get in the situation when you are rushing to the train station. They thought they had enough time to get to the train station and board their train in time but they got delayed.
  • NEVER used the ATM at the train station when possible. It is believed they got targeted by this pickpocket team when they were observed taking the money out of the ATM and placing it in their respective wallets and where they placed their wallets on their persons.
  • NEVER allow anyone to step between yourself and your traveling companion on a train, bus or tram.
  • NEVER leave your wallet in your back pants pocket or an unsecured purse, handbag, or backpack that can be easily entered by a pickpocket!
  • ALWAYS use an anti-theft travel wallet or bag with locking compartments to thwart pickpockets.