Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s office reports that in January, a number of followers of his official Facebook page began receiving messages asking for monetary donations from a page imitating the Buddhist teacher.
Ponlop Rinpoche’s office sent out a notice warning followers of the official page of the scam and pointing out how to identify the fake page. After being reported, the page was banned, but just a few days later, they say, another took its place.
These fake Facebook pages appear to be targeting Rinpoches in particular. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, and Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche, have all posted messages on their Facebook pages warning of impersonators. Ponlop Rinpoche’s office says followers of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s Facebook page have also been targeted.
If you receive a suspicious Facebook message from a Buddhist teacher asking for donations, report the message, and do not donate money. Legitimate fundraising campaigns led by Buddhist organizations are typically linked in a post on the organization’s Facebook page, says Ponlop Rinpoche’s office. Donations are not requested directly through Facebook messenger.