Officers at West Midlands Police have issued a fresh warning to pilgrims hoping to perform Hajj following reports of rogue traders operating in the region.
They say the cowboy travel agents lure people in with cut-price offers, but then leave the unsuspecting customer high and dry and out of pocket.
– West Midlands Police
Every year thousands of British Muslims travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. Sadly, many fall victim to rogue travel operators.
In some cases, ‘Hajj Tours’ are being sold at up to 50 per cent of the normal price, but shortly before departure the tour operator closes - leaving people with no tour and no way of getting their money back.
It comes just weeks after Birmingham City Council's Trading Standards team issued a similar warning, urging people to book through legitimate travel agents.
Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have drawn up an advice leaflet for anyone who has been a victim of Hajj fraud.