Muslims warned of Mecca trip scams
Muslims are being warned not to fall for fraudsters who have tricked travellers wanting to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca out of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Bogus tour operators offer Hajj trips at knock-down prices and then close the company down just before the departure date.
This has robbed some victims of their life savings and, according to The Council of British Hajjis, is massively under-reported.
The group said that 300 people contacted it to say they had fallen prey to conmen in 2011, but only three reported the crime to the police.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police are advising travellers to make sure their tour operator is Atol protected, check they are accredited by the Saudi Embassy and to get an agreement in writing. (...)