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The Monk Scam.

Saw this one in London recently. People that appear to be Buddhist Monks working crowds, giving out little golden cards. If you take one they then ask for a donation to their order: Yet these are not Buddhist monks and could not answer even the easiest question related to Buddhism, of which I consider myself to be a follower of. True Buddhist Monks do beg. But they do it passively and not in the in the fashion I was seeing from these fake monks. Just don't take the card that they try to put in your hand.

Posted by
3118 posts

Reminds me of the so called Hare Krishna people I used to see at US airports all the time.

Posted by
5017 posts

Yes, this is quite a common scam these days.

Don't take any cheap junk from strangers you approach you on the street, at home or abroad. There's a reason it feels weird and scammy - because it is.

Posted by
3768 posts

Yeah - saw this on the High Line in NYC a few years back...

Posted by
52 posts

This is going on in Boston as well. There's a man & a woman, & they have been working the Freedom Trail and Waterfront during the summer for at least 3 years. They put a beaded prayer bracelet on your wrist, then shake you down for $20.

Posted by
914 posts

I agree Mark. Reminds me of the Hare Krishna scams of the '80's. They hung out on every street corner and airport lobby.
I must defend Buddhist monks. It's a religion, not a cult. During my brother's last days, a friend of his invited several monks, who were touring the US at the same time the Dali Lama, to visit him. As ill and medicated as my brother was, he reacted to their chants and message of peace and reincarnation. I still swear one of the monks was the Dali Lama, although I've been told no. Dali Lama was in Idaho, we were in Oregon; coincindence?

Posted by
7606 posts

horsewoofie, what an awesome story. Thanks.

Posted by
7627 posts

Yep, they have been in Frankfurt for about 4-5 years now. Not real monks.

Posted by
30893 posts

I normally don't take anything offered by street vendors, whether it's a gold ring or a card. If there was an item I might be interested in, I'd ask first whether there's a charge.

Posted by
1255 posts

Don't go to tourist trap destinations where these things exist, problem solved. Can't remember the last time I saw a monk, petition person, ring, poop scam etc. This site is funny.

Posted by
7627 posts

Kaeleku - When was the last time anyone thought that Frankfurt was a tourist trap destination? These guys are wandering around our main shopping street.

Posted by
1451 posts

When abroad and approached by anyone handing out anything or coming too close into your personal space, walk away.

I see no value in trying to outwit a scammer about a gold ring, a flower, a bracelet or anything like that. Don't waste your precious travel time. If, by chance they become a bit too aggressive, just say "polizia." Maybe that will get them to back away. But, if you don't engage at all, they have no reason to keep pursuing you.

At home, when that happens to me walking Downtown or in Cambridge - having fliers and junk presented to me, I say, "no thanks" and walk on. No comments, no arguments.