Woman sells jewellery and car for haj, only to fall victim to scam

PUTRAJAYA: A woman sold several pieces of jewellery and a car to ensure she had enough money to fund her expenses for performing the haj, only to be duped by a haj pilgrimage scammer.

Rose, in her 50s, from Klang, Selangor, said she received the offer for the haj package from a woman who introduced herself as a manager of a travel agency through Facebook.

"I made sacrifices by pawning jewellery and selling a car just to gather enough money to join the haj package.

"I didn't mind doing so because what mattered was performing haj and praying in the Holy Land of Makkah for my beloved child who is suffering from a chronic illness," she said.

According to Rose, the woman offered her a low-cost haj package of RM25,000, which includes private transportation and accommodation in a five-star hotel near the Masjidil Haram in Makkah.

She said she and two other women who joined the package with her were also promised a 'Nusuk' haj visa to perform haj.

Rose said the three of them departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on May 9 using an Air Asia flight provided by the agency.

Initially, upon arrival at the Medina airport, the woman did not appear after several hours of waiting and could not be contacted.

Rose said the three of them also checked with the hotel mentioned by the woman earlier as their accommodation, but there were no check-ins or bookings made by the agency.

She said they contacted other friends for information and were told that the agency they were dealing with had previously committed multiple frauds against Malaysian pilgrims.

"After realising that we were scammed, we reported the incident to the Saudi Arabian authorities in Jeddah, who promised to resolve the issue if they could find the woman.

"To soothe our disappointment while in the Holy Land, we managed to perform umrah using our own money, for the hotel, food, and transportation costs," she said.

Rose said they cancelled their intention to perform haj and bought flight tickets back to Malaysia for RM1,600 each to avoid further risk, they arrived safely at klia2 on May 19.

Based on their own investigation, they found that the woman had been charged in court in 2023 for allegedly deceiving Malaysians through the same method of scamming.

She said the woman was very cunning as she often promoted haj and umrah packages under various names and companies, including using the title 'Datuk' to disguise her malicious tactics from the public.

"Since we have just returned, I am taking time to rest and calm down before filing a police report soon and am ready to cooperate with the authorities to provide information."

"We hope the authorities can take legal action against the individual and bring her to justice so that it serves as a lesson and prevents more people from becoming victims," she said.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories