Woman Poisoned By Crooks Using a Colombian Drug on a Business Card-Unproven!

Summary of eRumor:

The story of a woman who was allegedly approached at a gas station by a man saying he was a painter.  He handed her his business card.  When she drove away from the station, she noticed that the painter had gotten into a car driven by another person.  Later she started feeling dizzy and had a breathing problem.  She realized there was a strong odor coming from the card and also that the painter’s car was following her.  The woman eventually recovered but decided that there had been some kind of substance on the card that disabled her.  The writer of the email then speculates that the substance may have been a drug known as Burundanga.

The Truth:

We have not found any substantiation of this story, which has none of the kinds of details or facts that would lead to verification. 

Burundanga is a real drug that is well known in Colombia and a source of widespread concern.  Criminals in Colombia have been known to put the drug into food, gum, or drinks of people who, it is said, can go into a trance-like state in which they appear to be conscious but are powerless to resist orders.  Victims have been known to make bank withdrawals, participate in handing clothing, furniture, and other valuables over to thieves just because they were told to do it.

According to the sources we checked, however, Burundanga is described as being odorless and tasteless so would not have produced the strong odor described in the eRumor. 

We also didn’t find any incidents in which anyone has passed the drug to another person through simple touch, such as on a business card.

Updated 6/18/08

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

This incident has been confirmed. Ladies please be careful and share w/everyone you know!

This can happen anywhere!

And Another Warning . .. . Last Wednesday, a woman was at a gas station in Katy. A man came and offered her his services as a painter and gave her a card. She took the card and got in her car.

The man got into a car driven by another person. She left the station and noticed that the men were leaving the gas station at the same time. Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the windows and in that moment she realized that there was a strong odor from the card. She also realized that the men were following her. The woman went to neighbor’s house and honked on her horn to ask for help. The men left, but the victim felt bad for several minutes. Apparently there was a substance on the card, the substance was very strong and may have seriously injured her.

This incident sounds like several other reported that can be found on the Internet and there is a drug called ‘Burundanga’ that is used by some people to incapacitate a victim in order to steal or take advantage of them. Please be careful and do not accept anything from unknown people on the street.