How it works:
- Situation: occurs every year during the Hajj as scammers exploit Saudi Arabia’s strict visa system.
- Opening: online travel agents offer to help you get a visa fast and some offer “all-inclusive” packages (air tickets, hotels, flights).
- Set-up: after you pay, they disappear.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Visa application: use the official channel; any claims of expediting the process are likely lies.
- Tour agents: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Paying: avoid paying in full upfront (unless reputable operator) or off the (online) platform.