Hajj applicants 'spammed' by beauty companies after using Saudi's new Motawif portal

Hajj applicants 'spammed' by beauty companies after using Saudi's new Motawif portal
Hajj applicants using Saudi Arabia's new Motawif online portal have reported receiving spam messages from a skincare company called 'Divine Beauty'.
2 min read
08 June, 2022
Applicants have complained about the new Motawif system introduced by Saudi Arabia. [Getty]

Prospective Hajj pilgrims have reported being spammed by skincare companies after using Saudi Arabia's new Motawif application portal.

The online system was revealed recently for pilgrims from Europe and the US wishing to make Hajj. Previously, pilgrims would organise trips to Mecca via travel agencies.

Taking to Twitter, several applicants voiced their frustration after receiving emails from a company called 'Divine Beauty'.

"Asalaamu Alaikum Motawif Team. Since using your portal to register our interest, several of us are now receiving spam emails from skincare companies. Please can you urgently review your IT security process as our personal details have been leaked. Please resolve!" wrote one Twitter user.

Others said that the spam messages had been sent to multiple members of their households.

"Iโ€™ve just found out that my family and I who signed up for Hajj via @Motawif_SA received spam emails from 'Divine Beauty' thanking us for signing up to their page. Has the website been hacked/has our data been sold? How can we trust this website with our payment information," said another Twitter user.

Despite having replied to Twitter queries about the new application system, the official Motawif account is yet to respond to claims that applicants' data was breached.

The New Arab reached out to Motawif for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

The two Holy Mosques' official Haramaininfo Twitter account, meanwhile, urged those concerned about the alleged data breach to contact Motawif.

Announced by the kingdom's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on Monday, the new Motawif system requires would-be pilgrims to enter a lottery-style system to secure a place.

Prior to this, those making the Islamic pilgrimage from Europe, America and Australia were able to sort out visas, flights and accommodation via local travel agencies.

Those who had booked their Hajj packages prior to the announcement on Monday will now have to request refunds.