Burundanga Business Card

Since 1962

Burundanga Business Card

Summary

Attackers use business card laced with dangerous drug handed out to women.

Circulation: May 2008

Status: Hoax

The Debunking:

My wife received an email today warning her to pass on an email to everyone she knows. That was my first clue that this email was a hoax. Never, ever forward an email like that until you check out whether or not it’s true. For more information on that, check out my Hoax introduction page.

Back to the email. I looked over the email and read a few comments added by recent recipients. The most disturbing one was this:

This email is from a very close friend of mine whose brother works for the Chicago Police Department

I found that disturbing because now down-stream recipients (those who will receive that particular chain) will attribute the police detective’s authority to the email, thereby making it an “OFFICIAL” police bulletin. In fact, someone else commented that “Ladies, this email is from a reliable source!” News Flash: Just because a police detective received a bogus email and forwarded it on does not make it legitimate. It just means that the detective was duped into forwarding a lie, also. Please do NOT believe things just because someone said it’s true. I can’t stress that enough.

The next issue I want to address is this line:

Share with your sisters, daughters, nieces, mothers, and female friends. This Incident has been confirmed.

Confirmed? By whom? Who authored this email? To this date, no one can definitively trace the origins to any legitimate source or point to a real news story. If someone DID experience this type of attack, no one has been able to confirm it.

Will the real victim please stand up?

Ok, so let’s assume that the story is real. A woman DID receive a business card and it was laced with a drug. Further assuming that she felt woozy and pulled into someone’s driveway, etc. Problem: One such attack does not make a crime wave. If that were true, I could go on to make up some real doozies: I went down to the corner store and the girl behind the Burundanga Business Card

Ok, so let’s assume that the story is real. A woman DID receive a business card and it was laced with a drug. Further assuming that she felt woozy and pulled into someone’s driveway, etc. Problem: One such attack does not make a crime wave. If that were true, I could go on to make up some real doozies: I went down to the corner store and the girl behind the counter shorted me $1.25. WARNING: ALL CORNER STORE CASHIERS ARE THIEVES AND CHEATS!!! See the problem there? In this case, we create mass hysteria and a state of fear where as soon as a woman is looked at, she starts calling the police. Mind you, I’m not advocating that women stop being vigilant, but c’mon, this story is absurd.

What is wrong with this story? Well, to start with, the drug in question is said to be burundanga. That part is true. There really is a drug by that name. It’s more proper name is scopolamine and it’s commonly used as a motion sickness or vertigo remedy. It is, in fact, able to be absorbed by contact with the skin as the story says. That’s as far as the facts coincide with the story. Period.

Other problems with the email:

The victim allegedly received a dose of the drug by simply touching a business card. The problem: Burundanga must be inhaled or ingested, or the subject must have prolonged topical contact with a high dosage of the drug, in order for it to have an effect.
The woman also allegedly detected a “strong odor” emitted by the drug-laced card. The problem: burundanga is odorless and tasteless.

Scopolamine has been used under the name burundanga in Venezuelan and Thailand resorts in order to drug and then rob tourists. While there are unfounded rumors that delivery mechanisms include using pamphlets and flyers laced with the drug, not enough is readily absorbed through the skin to have an effect. However, spiked alcoholic drinks are occasionally used. In recent years the criminal use of scopolamine has become an epidemic. Approximately half of emergency room admissions for poisoning in Bogotá have been attributed to scopolamine.

To quote Paul Harvey: And now for the Rest of the Story… The full disclosure for scoplamine is that it sometimes is used in South Asia for nefarious purposes (wealthy businessmen getting robbed after getting a “mickey” in their drinks) as well as an hallucinogenic.

Still no reports of attacks in the US.

What to do if you receive this email: Do not forward it. Delete the message. It is a hoax.

Links:

Snopes page: http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/burundanga.asp

Urban Legends page: http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/crime/a/burundanga.htm

Hoax Slayer’s page: Burundanga Business Card

Original Text

Share with your sisters, daughters, nieces, mothers, and female friends. This Incident has been confirmed.

A man came over and offered his services as a painter to a female putting gas in her car and left his card. She said no, but accepted his card out of kindness and got in the car.

The man then got into a car driven by another gentleman. As the lady left the service station, she saw the men following her out of the station at the same time. Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the window and realized that the odor was on her hand; the same hand which accepted the card from the gentleman at the gas station.

She then noticed the men were immediately behind her and she felt she needed to do something at that moment. She drove into the first driveway and began to honk her horn repeatedly to ask for help. The men drove away but the lady still felt pretty bad for several minutes after she could finally catch her breath. Apparently, there was a substance on the card that could have seriously injured her.

This drug is called ‘BURUNDANGA’ and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in order to steal from or take advantage of them.

This drug is four times dangerous than the date rape drug and is transferable on simple cards.

So take heed and make sure you don’t accept cards at any given time alone or from someone on the streets. This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services.

PLEASE SEND THIS E-MAIL ALERT TO EVERY FEMALE YOU KNOW!!!!

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