8th October 2013
The City of London Police has launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the threat posed to Muslims by Hajj travel fraud, and to encourage victims to report it to Action Fraud.
Every year up to 25,000 British Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca for Hajj – taking place this year from October 13th to 18th – spending a total of around £125 million. Thousands more, however, become the victims of fraudsters and not only lose their money, but have their dreams of a once-in-a-lifetime trip destroyed. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam – a religious obligation that must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to make the trip at least once in his or her lifetime.
Only a very small percentage of victims report their plight to Action Fraud, making it almost impossible for local police forces to catch those responsible. In response, the City of London Police – the national police lead for fraud – has teamed up with the Council of British Hajjs and ABTA to make a special Hajj fraud video. The Muslim community, local police forces, trading standards and local authorities will be distributing leaflets and posters in Arabic, Punjabi, Bengali, Somali, Urdu and Gujarati, across the UK over the next few weeks.
National Fraud Co-ordinator for the City of London Police, Commander Steve Head, said: “Hajj fraud is a devastating crime that every year is robbing Muslims of what could be their only opportunity to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. This national campaign has been designed so that together with the Muslim community and local forces we can understand the true scale of Hajj fraud, prevent people falling victim and help those who already have, and track down and bring to justice the fraudsters who make criminal capital by destroying other people’s dreams.”
Read actual accounts of Hajj fraud on the Get Safe Online website by clicking here.
Watch the City of London Police video by clicking here.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of Hajj Fraud, report it to Action Fraud it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visitng www.actionfraud.police.uk