Every year more than two million Muslims celebrate Hajj by making the pilgrimage to Mecca in what is the world's biggest annual gathering of people. Within this mass of humanity are thousands of UK citizens, many of whom will have saved for years in the knowledge that, for them, this will be a once in a lifetime trip.
Unfortunately a significant number who have paid for tour packages for themselves and their family have arrived in Saudi Arabia to discover their accommodation is either very low quality or does not even exist, while others have found their whole trip is a scam set up by illegal travel operators that have disappeared with their money.
We are supporting The City of London Police to warn about the threat of fraudsters trying to con them with bogus travel packages.
The best ways to protect yourself and loved ones from Hajj fraudsters is to:
- Do your research – don’t book without carrying out some basic check on your travel agency/tour operator. Go online to see if other people have commented on their services and check the company is a member of ABTA.
- If you are booking a flight-based package make sure your travel company is ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.
- Get everything in writing and make sure your flight details, accommodation and Hajj visa are valid.
- Do not pay the travel company by cash or by direct bank transfer into an individual’s account as if they turn out to be fraudulent it will be virtually impossible to get your money back.
For more information visit The City of London Police