The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH), a National Hajj specific charity working for the welfare and wellbeing of pilgrims, has issued a stern warning about the threat of rogue and unscrupulous tour and travel operators, who try to con the pilgrims with their fraudulent activities and malpractice. Regrettably, in recent years a substantial number of pilgrims were victims of Hajj scams in which they lost a large sum of money. The criminal and rogue tour operators sell Hajj packages online through some fake websites and vanish near the Hajj time leaving pilgrims stranded and in total devastation and trauma.
ABH strongly urges the pilgrims to be aware of fake websites and online scams and must not book their packages online. They must visit personally to the offices of tour and travel operators to ensure that they are genuine businesses. Every Hajj/Umrah travel company selling Hajj/Umrah package is required by UK legislation and Ministry of Hajj Saudi Arabia to hold Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL). In case the Hajj Company stops trading, the ATOL scheme protects prospective pilgrims by ensuring that they do not get stranded abroad or lose money.
ABH also warns the prospective pilgrims that booking Hajj packages with unlicensed tour operators can put them at high risk of Hajj scams in which they can lose their hard earned money and can be robbed of chance of the lifetime to perform the religious duties. Only licensed holders tour operators are authorised by Saudi Government to take the pilgrims for the pilgrimage.
ABH also strongly urges the prospective pilgrims that if they are a victim of any fraudulent activity, they must report this crime to the Police and Trading Standards Department and must not suffer in silence.