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Unread 2016-06-27, 10:52   #1
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aarkieboy
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Feb 5 2003
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"NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Buddhist leaders are sounding the alarm to tourists: Beware the "fake monks."

Men in orange robes claiming to be Buddhist monks are approaching visitors to some of the city's most popular attractions, handing them shiny medallions and offering greetings of peace. They then hit them up for donations to help them build a temple in Thailand, and are persistent if their demands are refused.

"The problem seems to be increasing," said the Rev. TK Nakagaki, president of the Buddhist Council of New York, a group that represents nearly two dozen Buddhist temples. "They are very aggressive and hostile if you don't give them money."

His group has taken to the streets and social media to warn people that the men appear to have no affiliation to any Buddhist temple. "Please be aware," read one Facebook post, "this is a scam."

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Along the popular High Line elevated park, one of the robed men handed a couple a shiny, gold-colored medallion and a plastic beaded bracelet. He then showed them photos of a planned temple and barked, "Ten dollars! Twenty dollars!" When they wouldn't give up cash, he snatched the trinkets back.

Other brightly robed men have been spotted pulling the same routine, albeit more successfully, in Times Square, not far from where costumed characters such as Elmo, Minnie Mouse and the Naked Cowboy take pictures with tourists for tips. Some of the monks were later seen handing wads of cash to another man waiting nearby." (More)
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