Protect yourself from Hajj fraud
The Senior Citizen Liaison Team would like to advise residents of scams that may affect some of the 25,000 British Muslims that travel to Saudi Arabia every year to attend the Hajj pilgrimage.
Hajj related fraud is often a distressing situation for individuals to find themselves in. Individuals often save up for months or even years to travel abroad. When it is discovered that what they purchased did not exist, many are left devastated as they cannot afford to purchase another travel package.
Action Fraud believe that more than 80% of Hajj fraud victims are over the age of 65, with victims losing between £200 and £20,000. The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK estimates that only 10% of Hajj fraud is reported.
The advice being offered by Action Fraud is:
•Make sure the travel agent / tour operator you use is ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) protected;
•Check your travel agent / tour operator is accredited by the Saudi Embassy;
•Check the exact details of your package so you know what you are buying;
•If you are paying over £100, use a credit card as this will afford you additional protection should something go wrong;
•Get everything in writing.
If you think you may have fallen victim to Hajj fraud, or know someone who has, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk.
For advice on this or any other consumer matter, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).