The fake Buddhist Monk infestation expands way beyond the Faneuil hall area. The phony Monks tourists and locals have encountered while strolling around Faneuil hall have popped up in various major cities across the globe.
Some of these cities include Toronto,New York City, San Francisco, Tokyo and Sydney. The fake Buddhist Monks have even been seen in India and Nepal, competing with actual Monks for donations.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first time the fake Monks have been seen harassing tourist. Reports across the globe of their presence spiked in Spring of 2016.
The Fake Buddhist Monk: What to Look For
Globally, the Monk’s tactics seem to align: Men and women dress in traditional Monk attire, they offer clueless tourist the same gold medallion or beaded bracelet then, if accepted, shake the tourist down for money. Some fake Monks even have had tourist sign a ‘guest book’ with their name and the amount they donated.
By now, most cities have caught on to the phony Monk’s scheme. City officials have posted signs warning passersby of the “fake Monk mafia” in heavy populated tourist areas like the Quincy Market in Boston and The High Line in New York City.
Furthermore, the citizens of New York City have even begun a Facebook Page. Fake Monks in New York City records where they have been spotted in order to further expose their crime. In fact, the fake monks have gotten so much attention in New York City, Stephen Colbert had one on his show (well, had a fake, fake monk on his show).
According to The Boston Globe, an agency in New Zealand has traced these scammers to a Chinese Crime syndicate. They provide them with clothing, beads, and medallions to help them jumpstart their scam. It has even been discovered that the crime ring is providing panhandlers with visas and housing while abroad.
The fake Monk Mafia does not appear to be dangerous, but their aggressive panhandling is becoming alarming. The best way to get them off our streets is to spread awareness of their deceit and stop giving them money!