Fake monks fleecing pedestrians

Last updated 15:33 09/01/2014

Relevant offers

Australia

Melbourne rampage driver identified as James 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas Bourke Street tragedy: Driver appeared on TV hours before pedestrians killed Melbourne CBD chaos: Three dead, 25 injured as pedestrians deliberately run down Melbourne shooting - car doing donuts prior to crash Melbourne chaos: What we know so far Tennis stars three kilometres from Melbourne carnage Killer driver highlighted how susceptible city is to attack Images capture the carnage left by a car-chase through Melbourne's CBD Melbourne CBD horror: Witnesses saw 'baby flying out from under car' after pram struck Watch: Melbourne car chase ends in three dead, and dozens injured

Australians are being fleeced by a group of conmen dressed as Buddhist monks who take cash in exchange for supposedly religious items.

The men with shaven heads and wearing robes are approaching people on the street and asking for charitable donations, in exchange for prayer beads, amulets and spiritual guidebooks, director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Dr Claire Noone said.

''Fake fundraisers, such as these conmen dressed as Buddhist monks, take advantage of people's generosity,'' she 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.''

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 2500 years ago,'' Consumer Affairs said in the statement.

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content