Avoid Fake Monks in Chicago

Fake Buddhist monks roam big cities around the globe, panhandling for money.

They approach people, usually tourists, with bracelets, amulets, petitions for world peace, or other things. Once you accept their offering or sign the petition, they ask (or push) for a donation.

If they gave you a bracelet or amulet and you don’t “donate”, they snatch whatever it is they gave you out of your possessions and walk away without a word. If you take their amulet or bracelet and walk away, they may even grab your wrist!


Recently, The Associated Press tried to ask more than half-dozen of the men about their background and the temple they said the donations were being used to support. Each claimed to be a Buddhist monk collecting money for a temple in Thailand, but none could give its name or say where exactly it is located. All the men refused to give their names and ran off when pressed for answers.

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