Conmen dressed as monks are tricking people into parting with cash in a transaction that is forbidden in the Buddhist religion.

Fake Buddhist monks are preying on Australians in a con that trades karma for cash.

Scammers dressed in traditional Buddhist monk attire approach people on the street, peddling prayer beads, amulets and spiritual guidebooks in exchange for payment.

According to monastic rules laid down 2500 years ago by Buddha, monks are not permitted to ask for money.

The con has been reported in Victoria, Queensland, NSW and Western Australia.

Consumer Affairs Victoria warned about the scam in January, but on Monday said the conmen continue to approach people on the street and ask for money.

The watchdog said if in doubt, people should make donations directly to charitable organisations rather than to street collectors.