Muslims in Gedling borough are being warned about fraudsters trying to con them out of cash by offering bogus travel packages to Mecca – the birthplace of Islam.
Police forces across the country, including Nottinghamshire, have teamed up and launched a campaign to tackle criminals preying on Muslims preparing to perform Hajj in the autumn.
Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016 there were 49 reports of Hajj fraud (average loss of £2,651) made to Action Fraud, marking a 33% drop on the previous year’s reporting figures.
However, law enforcement and figures within the Muslim community remain convinced these numbers represent just the tip of the iceberg, with many victims feeling too embarrassed, ashamed or frightened to report what has happened to them.
People booking package trips with flights this autumn are being advised to make sure the firm they use is covered by the ATOL scheme – and to not use cash or a direct bank transfer for payment.
City of London Police Commander Chris Greany, who is the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, said: “Many victims will have saved for years to be able to afford to travel to Saudi Arabia and as a result will be absolutely devastated when they find out that they have in fact been conned by fraudsters.
If you have been a victim of Hajj fraud, report the crime to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or by visiting the Action Fraud website.