This story was first published on September 1st, 2014
Circulating message claims that criminals are placing $100 bills laced with a debilitating chemical on cars as a means of making drivers who touch the note pass out so that they can be kidnapped or assaulted.
The warning is a hoax. There are no credible reports about attacks like the one described. Moreover, it is extremely unlikely that there is a chemical so powerful that merely touching a laced note would make a person pass out. The message is derived from older urban legends claiming that fake perfume or business cards laced with powerful drugs have been used to debilitate and rob or kidnap victims.
Message Warns of Laced $100 Bills Used in Car Park Kidnappings
The message claims that the laced $100 bills are being left on car door handles so that, when the victim returns to the vehicle, he or she will touch the bill and then pass out. Then, the criminals can kidnap or hurt their victim and steal the car.
Or so the ‘warning’ message would have us believe.
Warning is a Hoax – No Credible Reports of Such Crimes
There are no credible news or police reports about crimes like the one described in the message.
Moreover, the message immediately makes you wonder what chemical would be so powerful that just touching it would knock out the victim instantly. In fact, I could find no references to such a chemical. Of course, there are drugs that, if swallowed or inhaled may cause dizziness and debilitation. But, there is no information about a drug that can immediately render a person unconscious just by touching an object that contains it.
To work, the chemical would have to either give off fumes that the victim breathed in or be absorbed into the body via the skin. It is simply absurd to suggest that, just by picking up a note, enough of the drug could be administered by either of these methods to instantly render a person unconscious.
And, if there were such a substance, how would the criminals manage to lace the $100 bill and plant it on the car without being affected themselves? Wearing thick gloves and breathing apparatus while planting laced notes on cars might look a trifle suspicious.
Furthermore, why would the criminals use hundred dollar bills when they could just smear the substance on a piece of paper – or the door handle itself – and presumably achieve the same result? Hundred dollar bills – even fake ones – would be quite conspicuous and would likely be noticed and perhaps even snatched by passers-by.
Variant of Earlier Urban Legends
The message is also reminiscent of another circulating warning that claims $100 bills are being left on windshields as part of a car-jacking scheme. Supposedly, a hapless shopper will get in the car, notice the $100 bill and then get out to retrieve it. The criminals can then pounce from hiding and steal the car and possibly even abduct the car’ driver. But again, there are no credible reports that support the claim that car thieves are using this rather unlikely tactic. And, this warning is itself derived from yet another urban legend that claimed that criminals were putting pieces of paper on the rear windows of cars as a means of stealing them.
Passing on False Warnings Counterproductive
If you receive one of these warnings, do not share it with others. And take the time to let the sender know that the claims in the message are untrue.