Back to the Desk main page.
the Urban Legend and SPAM page

The "BURUNDANGA" Drugged Business Card panic email

©2010 The Media Desk

[NOTE: While the hoax being addressed does involve a real drug and the abuse thereof, no medical advice is to be contrued from anything in the below. Also, all Outside Links will open in new window.]

Sent in by a friend of the Desk without comment.... because it doesn't deserve one

      It's OK Brian... it's just another hoax.

      But you can have a party for it because it's two year old this month (May 2010). And yes, well meaning, but clueless people, are still forwarding it to each other. Even inside government agencies and technical groups where the people are supposed to know better.

      OK, YES, there is a real drug by that name (more often called scopolamine or hyoscine and a few other names, see link below), based on a chemical also found in plants like Jimson Weed... and Yes, it does have the properties listed in the spam email. And yes, it is reported to be used as a "date rape" drug in certain parts of South America, Jamaica, and elsewhere.

      But No, you can't do with it what it claims the criminals are doing with it. For starters, to be effective as advertised through the skin of the fingers in a reasonable amount of time, the business card would have to be dripping with the stuff, and who would take a card like that from a total stranger, who's probably wearing rubber gloves to protect themselves from the drug, to begin with?

      Oh well, who ever let the facts get in the way of a good panic stricken email? To become a classic like "Bill Gates is sharing his fortune", this one has to run for about five more years. Let's kill it now by not forwarding it any more.
      But, I'll add it to the list anyway... thanks for the tip.

The real drug on:

The hoax on....

The famous looks at it even has a page about it.

Multi-forwarded spam below.
some formatting done for readability

Subject: FW: Wilmington Area Alert

Police Warning (Send to Everyone )

    People are R E A L L Y crazy! If you are a female, take heed! If you are male and have a significant female in your life who you care about, whether it's your wife, your girlfriend, your daughter, your sister, your niece, your cousin, your next door neighbor; whomever..............pass this along! Always, "Better safe than sorry!"

    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 courtesy and got in her 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 more 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 you are alone or from someone on the streets. This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services.


end spam

The Media Desk's Urban Legend and SPAM Info Page

Back to the Desk main page at: