Hajj and Umrah fraud
In recent years many people have fallen victim to Hajj fraud, losing thousands of pounds.
Some operators offer very cheap ‘Hajj Tours’ but shut down before you depart, leaving people with no tour and no way of getting their money back.
Remember - if the package sounds too good to be true it probably is!
We’re working together with the Lancashire Muslim community to stop people falling victim to these fraudsters.
How to report Hajj and Umrah fraud
If you think you have been a victim of Hajj fraud you can get advice or report the fraud to:
- Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline – 03454 040506
- Lancashire Police – 101 (non-emergency number)
Our advice to protect yourself and your family
How do I choose a safe Hajj agent?
- Only book with an agent accredited by the Ministry of Hajj. You can view the list of approved Hajj agents here.
- Make sure the agent has a valid Munazzam card and ask to see it before you book.
- Check your agent is ATOL protected (Air Travel Organisers’ Licence). You can check the companies ATOL number online before you book at www.caa.co.uk.
- Make sure you receive an ATOL certificate when you book with full details of your package.
What is ATOL protection?
- ATOL protection allows you to claim your money back if the agency closes down before you travel, and guarantees you a flight home if the travel agency closes down while you are in Saudi Arabia.
What should I do when I book my Hajj package?
- Make sure you get everything in writing – including details of your contract, your accommodation, itinerary, transport and contact details for your representative back home.
- Carefully consider your method of payment and make sure you get receipts of any financial transactions. If you do pay by bank transfer or cash and the company turns out to be fraudulent it will be virtually impossible to get your money back.
- Get everything in writing from your agent including your contract and receipts of any financial transactions.
Problems during your trip
If you have a problem while you are on your pilgrimage, let your tour operator’s representative know immediately. It’s useful if you take photos and statements from other pilgrims, highlighting the problem. This will support your case when you return home.
If you are unhappy about your trip or want more information you can find out more in Council of British Hajjis website (external link).