British hajjis are being warned to beware of rogue travel agents who will try to sell them fraudulent packages.
The “Hajj Fraud Awareness Campaign,” a collaboration between the Council of British Hajjis and the City of London police, is due to begin this week.
An estimated 20,000 British Muslims will travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj which is due to begin on October 13.
According to the Council of British Hajjis, in 2012 there were 44 reports of Hajj fraud made to British police, but the true scale of this criminality is thought to be much greater.
In order to avoid becoming a victim of Hajj fraud pilgrims should:
1. Check that the tour operator is signed up to an ATOL scheme.
2. Check that the company has the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj accreditation.
3. Check that they’re a legitimate business in the UK by going to the “Companies House” website.
4. Talk to family and friends for personal recommendations.
5. Visit the tour operator at their business address.
6. Make payments by credit card because that way there’s a paper trail.
7. If you are affected by fraud, immediately report it to the police.