You have probably heard about the fake monks in full costume who put ‘prayer beads’ on people’s wrists or around their necks, then ask a certain sum of money in payment for the prayers. The scam has been unearthed in popular spots in Asian countries like Thailand but has also reached New York City!
But did you know that these fake monks have reached the Philippines and victimizing unsuspecting people in Baguio City? These could be the same group of fake monks or possibly copycats but the modus operandi is the same: they place prayer beads around the victim’s wrists or neck, then force the victim to pay a certain amount of money (at least Php100 in Baguio City)!
Because they often target tourists or young students, the monks often get away with the scam while the victims could only scratch their heads in frustration. Rarely do the victims go to the police because of the hassle that entails; thus, the ‘monks’ continue to scam more people.
The fake monks in Baguio City had taken to wearing cowboy hats to seemingly take advantage of the prevailing culture in the Cordilleras.
News site The Cordilleran Sun warns netizens to stay away from these scammer monks when they visit Baguio City as these guys could be quite aggressive. Netizens are reminded to avoid the monks as much as they could but if the monks continue to bother you, just call the cops via 911.
“If these men are genuine devotees of Buddhism, they should be spreading the belief system’s teachings, not trying to siphon away money from people,” wrote The Cordilleran Sun.
Based on the comments on the news site’s post, many people have spotted the ‘monks’ or were actually victimized!
We sure hope the Baguio cops can do something about this before more people fall into these fake monks’ trap.
Why is police not actively looking for these fake monks? Why the tourists have to report them first?