1. ITV Report

Fraudsters are targeting Muslims planning Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, police warn

South Wales Police say they're warning Welsh Muslims about scammers targeting people making the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The UK-wide campaign is aiming to raise awareness and encourage reporting of Hajj fraud within Muslim communities throughout the UK.

The Ka'aba in Mecca Credit: PA

Fraudsters targeting Muslims booking trips to Mecca to celebrate Hajj remains a problem across the country, a spokesperson said.

“This fraud directly targets members of the Muslim community. Every year more than two million Muslims celebrate Hajj by making the pilgrimage to Mecca in what is the world’s biggest annual gathering of people.

“Thousands of UK citizens attend to practise this religious observance, many of whom will have saved for years knowing that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

“I would ask anyone looking to book a journey, to please read the advice on offer on our website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.”

– DI Jamie Holcombe, South Wales Police

Police have released these figures to illustrate the scale of the problem.

  • Up to 25,000 British Muslims travel for Hajj each year
  • British Muslims spend as much as £125 million on pilgrimages annually
  • Police have reports of victims losing anything from £1,000-£33,000
  • The Council of British Hajjis estimates that the number of victims reporting to Action Fraud is as little as 3%