Hajj pilgrims warned of travel scams

Muslims travelling to the annual pilgrimage in Mecca this month are being warned against unscrupulous travel companies operating in Newham.

It comes after trading standards officers from Newham Council raided an alleged scam trader operating from his home in East Ham.

Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, is an Islamic duty every adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their life, if they can afford it and are physically able.

In previous years the council received complaints about low quality and over-crowed hotel rooms, poor arrangements for bus transfers and confusion about what the package includes.

Officers are urging travellers to make sure they get the trip details in writing before paying any money, check the trip is ATOL protected, and that company is a member of a reputable trade association such as ABTA or IATA.

For advice or to report a company contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.

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