Traveling in Japan is a tremendous expertise – with so many stunning temples and shrines to go to. However, you might want to be cautious of pretend Buddhist monks who rip-off vacationers, particularly round well-known websites. These intelligent scammers use varied pushy techniques to strain you into handing over cash.
One frequent rip-off includes a scammer approaching you as you exit a temple and handing you a “lucky charm” or non secular trinket, then demanding a “donation”.
Stories of Fake Monk Scams in Japan
1. A vacationer described how after visiting Meiji Shrine, a person in monk robes gave him a gold card with Buddhist symbols. Before he might object, the scammer demanded 1000 yen for the undesirable allure. He felt pressured by the pretend monk’s pushy calls for.
2. These scams stays ongoing in 2023, fraudulent monks working close to Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Tokyo, have been tricking unsuspecting vacationers. These pretend monks pose as real affiliated members of the shrine, providing stickers and prayer beads for an exorbitant worth of 10,000 yen to international guests. They exploit the ignorance of vacationers, promising them an “exclusive experience” at Ueno Toshogu. The victims sometimes notice the fraud after they later go to the official shrine workplace. The shrine authorities strongly advise in opposition to buying such gadgets from people claiming to be monks outdoors the official premises.
3. The monk rip-off in Akihabara includes a tall man, dressing up as a monk and approaching pedestrians on the road. This individual palms out gold charms to unsuspecting people, claiming them to be fortunate. After gaining their curiosity, they ask the person to signal their e-book the place different names, needs, nationalities, and donations are listed. Additionally, they place beaded bracelets on the people’ wrists. Once the individual is concerned to this extent, the pretend monk calls for a donation which they insist ought to be no less than 10,000 yen to twenty,000 yen. They refuse to just accept lesser quantities, and if denied, they grow to be offended and storm off.
4. This rip-off is frequent in vacationer areas throughout Asia, in addition to Western nations, and usually work the identical means. This video, from London, really reveals a pretend monk within the act and admitting he was not an actual monk.
They Use Deceit and Intimidation
In addition to pushy techniques, pretend monks additionally rely closely on deceit and intimidation. For instance, they could present you a e-book full of extraordinarily massive “donation” quantities given by earlier vacationers, with the intention to strain you into matching these inflated quantities.
When their lies and tips don’t work, the scammers typically flip to aggressive intimidation. One man recalled how when he solely gave 100 yen to a pretend monk in Asakusa, the monk yelled at him and adopted him down the road, attempting to scare him into paying extra. Others described pretend monks blocking their path and refusing to allow them to go till they handed over money.
How to Avoid These Scam Monks During Your Trip
To keep away from having these intelligent scammers spoil your journey to Japan, preserve the next recommendation in thoughts:
- Real Buddhist monks won’t ever method you, ask for cash, or act aggressively. They simply stand silently with a donation field. Walk away if a “monk” approaches you.
- Never settle for something a stranger palms you want charms or bracelets. Scammers will drive you to pay.
- Don’t be intimidated if a scammer will get pushy or offended. Firmly say no, return gadgets, and go away.
- Only donate at authentic temples and charities. Be very cautious of “monks” asking for cash on the road.
- Trust your intestine. If one thing looks like a rip-off, it most likely is. Just say no and go.
Hundreds of temples and shrines await you in Japan. By realizing these frequent pretend monk traps, you’ll be able to get pleasure from your religious journeys there with out being hassled. Just use frequent sense, keep away from participating with pushy strangers, and don’t be afraid to firmly decline. With alertness and warning, these scammers received’t spoil your superb journey.