Beware of 'monks' collecting money

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning about fake 'monks' collecting money.


Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said the fake charity collectors had been spotted in Western Australia and are suspected to be travelling to Queensland.


"These scammers have shaved heads, dress in brown robes and do not speak at all while collecting, leading people to assume they are monks," Mr Bauer said.


"They hand over a pen and book which has entries for names and donation amounts.


"Individuals may feel pressured into donating a substantial amount of money because the notebook suggests others have done so.


"Generally Buddhist monks do not receive, handle or touch any money.


"These fake monks have been spotted at train stations, bus stations and shopping centres in Western Australia and intel suggests they may be on the way to Queensland.


"Queenslanders should never feel pressured to donate money to someone who approaches you uninvited."


Any organisation publicly fundraising in Queensland for charity must either:

  • be a registered charity

  • have a temporary permit to fundraise for a one-off charitable purpose

  • be authorised by a registered charity to fundraise on its behalf.

Fake charity collectors should be reported immediately to the OFT by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).


A register of charities can be searched on the OFT website at


9 January 2013.