Fake monks? Buddhist leaders warn NYC tourists to be wary

In this Friday, June 24, 2016 photo, a man wearing an orange robe talks with a woman in New York's Times Square. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — They wear orange robes and carry shiny medallions, stopping people in New York City to offer greetings of peace. The men identify themselves as Buddhist monks and solicit donations for a temple in Thailand.

But the Buddhist Council of New York says the men are “fake monks” who are not affiliated with any known temple and are just looking to make a quick buck. They say the men are aggressive and grab people who won’t fork over cash.

The men have been targeting tourists at some of New York City’s most popular attractions from the High Line elevated park to Times Square.

Police say that in the rare cases when someone calls 911 on the men, they are usually gone by the time officers arrive.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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