Millions of Muslims cordially urge to visit the holiest twin cities of Saudi Arabia that are Makkah and Madinah once in their lifetime. The Muslims have the sound inkling of the significance of their spiritual journeys of Haj and Umrah. However, it has been noted that many among millions of Muslims fail to reach their spiritual destination due to many reasons. One of those reasons is the entrapment of innocent Muslims by various Umrah Operators Scams.
The most obvious and quintessential reason behind this alarming situation is the lack of travel education among the pilgrims. Especially the elderly or senior citizens, who lose an exorbitant amount of money by relying upon the cunning trickeries of the hajj or Umrah frauds. To save yourself from the hands of these deceiver operators, you must strive to acquire a proper Hajj or Umrah travel education.
Deceptive Ways of Hajj and Umrah Frauds
The fraud operators can lure the pilgrims by tactfully using a certified company’s name. Umrah or Hajj Fraud may also involve the sale of non-existent packages. Numerous cases have also been reported where the dodgy travel agents have delivered substandard accommodation, as well as other infringements and left the innocent pilgrims in a pitiable plight.
Furthermore, another setback bored by the Umrah pilgrims is their failure to get the excessive amount back or refund from these frauds. If they strive for the refunding of their money, they have to bear the lengthy/ time- consuming court proceedings.
Difference between the Good and Bad Travel Agent
Before consulting a travel agent for your future spiritual in route, you must know how to recognize an honest travel/ Umrah agent or how to differentiate between a good and a bad travel agent. A good travel agent would give you a reasonable time to ponder on the Hajj or Umrah Packages being offered by his company. Whereas, the bad one may ask for an instant deposit of a large amount and passport. He may scare you tactfully by saying I have just this cancellation that I can offer you” or ” I am nearly sold out” or very limited space available” etc.
A good agent compassionately understands your legitimate reason for the cancellation of the Umrah itinerary. He can charge you a proportion of the percentage of the number of days left before your departure. He may not even hesitate in 100% refunding of your Umrah money, if your cancellation reason is valid which can be a physical injury, death or poor health issues, etc.
Hajj or Umrah Fraud- A Universal Case
In 2017, the issue of Hajj/Umrah scam gained significant attention in the UK. However, the matter of fraudulent Umrah Operators is somehow a universal one. Because the fraud reports have also been collected in countries like Nigeria, Indonesia, South Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Beyond.
Stories of Hajj/ Umrah Scams
In 2017, the stories of Umrah operator scams had been recorded in which the Umrah pilgrims complained about the poor accommodation services along with the threats of the unscrupulous travel agents. One Umrah pilgrim narrated that instead of providing him with the familial amenities, the hotel management separated all his family members assigning them separate rooms instead of keeping all of them together. The director of the travel company of the pilgrim backed up with the committed accommodation amenities. Moreover, Umrah pilgrim also complained about the poor hotel condition.
The stories of bitter arguments, fights leading to the grave violence between the pilgrims and fraud operators are also reported
The threats of the Unlicensed Dubious Travel Companies
Research shows that unlicensed travel companies are the bone of contention. The travel agents of these unauthorized companies don’t comply with the rules and regulations of their State and continue snatching huge amounts of money by the Umrah travelers. Thus these companies are neither State recognized nor approved by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. Moreover, these travel agents get undue benefits from their clients’ ignorance and often deceive them through forgery and incomplete paperwork.
Inevitable Things to Understand
There are some inevitable things that you have to understand mandatorily. These are
The responsibilities of a travel agency
Your rights as a traveler and Umrah Pilgrim
Cancellation and compensation terms, i.e. if there is any cancellation from the company or the traveler/ pilgrims
Engage with Licensed/ Authorized Travel Company
You must engage with the travel company that is recognized by your State under your State’s Ministry of travel or tourism or Ministry of Religious Affair. The UK pilgrims must make it dead sure about their company’s certification by ATOL, a mandatory travel license. To see the authenticity of the company read the specified license number on the company’s website and pamphlets. The licensed travel agents obligatorily have a registered license number, official government stickers and a licensed certificate from the Ministry. You must also check the active status and reputation of your chosen travel company.
Thoroughly Read the Packages
When you consult with your travel agent, it is inevitably important to know the pros and cons of all the sorts of hajj and umrah packages, being offered to you. You must also compare their package prices with that of the other companies working at the same time. It is also advised to have sound personal online research about your chosen travel company. While choosing a package, you must note the following things on a priority bases
Return Flight Ticket
type and location of Accommodation
Types of Payments and Receipts
Payment can be done in two ways, via cash and online transaction.
It is compulsory to get the payment receipt from your travel agents
The online transaction must be paid directly to your company’s travel agent instead of a third party
Keep the payment receipt safe for future reference.
Go Straight to Your Travel Company
It is inevitably recommended to go straight to your chosen travel company for your future spiritual itinerary. Don’t involve a third party into it. A lot of Umrah travel scams occur through the involvement of third parties in this matter. All the formalities must be completed within the office of the company to strengthen your confidence and reliability
Get Everything in Written
It is highly advised not to rely on mere oral words. Substantiate your words into written form. Moreover, it is also important to read every detail very carefully before signing any document to safe yourself from