SOLYMONE BLOG

FAKE MONKS FLEECING PEDESTRIAN ACROSS AUSTRALIA



MELBOURNE, Australia - A group of conmen dressed as Buddhist monks are fleecing Australians across the nation of cash in exchange for supposedly religious items.
The men with shaven heads and wearing robes are approaching people on the street of major cities and asking for charitable donations in exchange for prayer beads, amulets and spiritual guidebooks.
"Fake fundraisers, such as these conmen dressed as Buddhist monks, take advantage of people's generosity," Consumer Affairs Victoria director Dr Claire Noone said in a statement.
"Donating money to worthy causes is important, but Victorians need to make sure that they are dealing with a legitimate fundraiser."
Acting NSW Fair Trading Commissioner John Tansey has issued a warning about the saffron robbed charlatans, and said while begging was legal "this is nevertheless clearly a scam".
"These people are taking advantage of the public's generosity and have no affiliations with the Buddhist community," he said in a statement.
The Victoria consumer watchdog issued the warning after similar scams were reported in Perth and Sydney this week.

  • The Australian Sangha Association, a representative body for monks and nuns of all Buddhist traditions, confirmed that monks were "not allowed to ask for any money as laid down in the monastic rules by the Buddha 2,500 years ago," Consumer Affairs said in the statement.


Source: Agencies
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