People planning Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages are being advised about fake pop-up deals that are either unlicensed or do not exist. Those have lost hundreds of pounds over the years as a result of fake ‘pop-up’ travel deals that are either not licenced or do not exist, with a recent case in London involving an individual pleading guilty to selling Hajj packages without an ATOL. In one previous case, a Birmingham-based company was ordered to pay £43,000 in damages for misguiding customers by falsely claiming that it provided ATOL protection. So if you are interested in performing Umrah then you should find a good Umrah travel agency.
Steps to Protect Your Pilgrimage
Several more individuals have lost hundreds of pounds on scheduled trips to Mecca as a result of Hajj fraud in recent years. Numerous persons have suffered considerable financial losses, in many cases losing their entire life savings.
Hajj scammers make no distinctions based on age, gender, or location. In the months likely to lead up to the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj, coordinated crime factions are trying to target licenced travel agencies to promote fraudulent deals to Saudi Arabia in their name.
In certain situations, ‘Hajj Tours’ are sold at up to 50% off the regular price, but the tour operator shuts down shortly before departure, leaving people with no tour and no way to get their money back.
You can reduce the likelihood of being a victim by doing the following:
Check to see if your travel agent or tour operator is ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) secured. If the travel agency fails when you are in Saudi Arabia, you will be assured a flight home without being required to pay any additional fees. If the agency goes out of business before you leave, ATOL safeguarding enables you to get your cashback.
Visitors Can Reduce the Chances of Becoming a Victim by Doing the Following:
Check that your travel agent/tour operator has an ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) certificate. If the travel agency closes while you are in Saudi Arabia, you will be guaranteed a flight home without having to pay any additional fees. If the agency goes out of business before your trip, ATOL protection allows you to get your money back.
Is Your Travel Agent/Tour Operator Recognised by the Saudi Embassy?
Do not even reserve before even investigating your travel agency/tour operator; if an offer appears to be excessively good to be true, it commonly is. A suggestion from a friend or family member does not assure the truthfulness of the outfit; fraud may continue for some time before the perpetrators dissipate the assets and vanish. By researching the company, you reduce your chances of being duped.
Examine exactly what you’re paying for. When paying, think about your payment method carefully. Keeping records of financial transactions and creating an auditable paper trail will make it more difficult to be defrauded.
Make a Written Record of Everything
Always obtain written terms and conditions as this details your agreement with the travel agent or tour operator. Check that your flight information, accommodations, and Hajj visa are all up to date.
Every year, Hajj fraud ruins the aspirations of a countless number of individuals who assume they will soon make their pilgrimage to Mecca,” said the Police’s Head of Economic Crime”. The NFIB is collaborating with the Muslim community to shine a light on the fraudsters who continue to cause so much pain.”
“The more we know about this crime, the more we can do to put a stop to it, so I’d encourage anyone who has been a victim of Hajj fraud to contact the police.”
Any individual who becomes the victim of fraud then he must come forward and talk. According to the chairman of the Muslim Consultative Committee, “the Muslim community must ensure that all of its representatives are conscious of Hajj forgery and stress how significant it is for them to assist the police in any way that will assist them brought these criminals to justice.”
If You Have Been a Victim of Hajj Fraud
If you’ve been a target of Hajj Fraud, kindly do not remain silent or be afraid to speak up. “The Muslim community must ensure that each of its members is conscious of Hajj forgery and stress how essential that it is for them to assist the police in just about anyway which would then assist them to deliver these individuals to justice,” said Asif Sadiq, chairman of the Muslim Consultative Committee.
Remember that there is always the risk of getting scammed while performing Umrah so try to minimize the risk of getting scammed.