Beware of fraudulent Hajj registration sites – Hajj Ministry warns Pilgrims

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AMMAN — The Ministry of Awqaf has warned citizens planning to perform Hajj (the greater Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) this year against registering through unofficial parties, stressing that the only way to do so is through its official website.

Yousef Qudah, head of the Hajj and Umrah department at the Awqaf Ministry, told The Jordan Times during a phone interview that social media pages and websites on the internet often “use moving language to exploit people’s religious sentiments and attachments, placing them in vulnerable positions”.

Unlicensed Hajj and Umrah bureaus are also guilty of targeting eager applicants and scamming them out of their money with promises of a “guaranteed accepted application”, added Qudah.

“Some people successfully receive Hajj permits from the ministry and then sell them to these bureaus, who then sell them to anyone who wishes to perform the ritual but did not get a pass,” said the department head.

He added: “It is not only an illegal act with serious consequences, it is also haram [forbidden]. You cannot perform a sacred ritual through illegal means.”

Media Spokesperson for the Ministry of Awqaf Hossam Hayari also reiterated in a press statement that citizens wishing to perform Hajj this year should be cautious and avoid applying through any unofficial channels, electronic or otherwise.

“Exploiting citizens’ desire to perform Hajj in exchange for money or personal data either with their consent or by deceiving them with the promises of securing Hajj permits is a clear act of fraud and will be punished,” he added.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Awqaf announced the opening of the registration for Hajj this year through the website, Hayari said, adding that January 20 is the deadline for bank deposits and registration, after which the ministry will no longer accept deposits or applications.



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