Every year thousands of UK Muslims celebrate Hajj by making the pilgrimage to Mecca: an expensive trip.

Unfortunately many who have paid for a tour package for themselves and their family have their dreams shattered by fraudsters.

Some arrive in Saudi Arabia to find the accommodation they booked doesn't exist.

Others discover that their whole trip is a scam set up by illegitimate travel operators, who have disappeared with thousands of pounds of their money.

To help protect yourself from Hajj fraudsters you can:

  • check the travel agency/tour operator is a member of ABTA and go online to see if other people have commented on their services
  • make sure your travel company is ATOL (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) protected by the Civil Aviation Authority
  • get everything in writing and make sure your flight details, accommodation and Hajj visa are valid
  • don't pay the travel company by cash or by direct bank transfer into someone's account – it's virtually impossible to get your money back if there's fraud

For more information and help or to report these and many other types of fraud, go to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.

For more advice you can also go to:

You might also find the video below (produced by City of London Police) useful.