back to article Essex copper deluged after forwarding web hoax email

An Essex police officer who inadvertently forwarded an aged internet hoax is now dealing with hundreds of calls and emails from concerned women - the hoax looks more genuine now that it comes from a proper police address. Detective Constable Simon Lofting sent the mail on to senior officers to check if it was genuine but it …


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  1. adam


    LOL ;)

  2. Hollerith

    "Burundanga" ?!?

    That should be enough to say 'hoax'. Given that it clearly doesn't, five seconds spent by the puzzled and suspicious officer on Google would have clarified the source of that particular substance.

    I mean, how hard can it be to check?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Pigs CAN fly.

    Do you have said Policemans address please so the concerned amongst us can investigate further?

    Not investigate this horse-sh*t you understand, but rather why a police helicopter has to hover above my house for 3 hours every other Thursday night.

    Also when I said 'Address' I mean house address, not email. I'm going to get one of those noisy petrol powered remote controlled 'copters and hover outside their bedroom window for a few hours at night so they can share the experience.

  4. Gary F

    Better education required

    Anyone who forwards on a "warning" email without verifying the source is an idiot, especially if their job involves processing intelligence, they should know better.

    Friends and relatives still forward me these hoaxes even though I tell them NEVER to do that. They think the next one they receive is so worrying that it has to be genuine.

    What's needed is government action to educate the nation. If 60% of the population have email then over 30 million Brits are constantly being targetted by hoaxes and scams. That's a lot of people and a lot of potential victims. The government has a duty to act, inform and educate.

  5. Anonymous John

    Not the first time.

    Remember PC Toseland and the premium rate phone call hoax? Which also appeared briefly on the Sussex plod website referring to two imaginary local victims.

    Mine's the one with the copy of Mythbusters in the pocket.

  6. Feef Lovecraft

    Not just police

    It's likely that someone just tagged a fake signature onto it but my Mother got forwarded this warning from apparently a hospital worker in Aberdeen, sensibly my mother checked before causing mass panic and reading the warning out.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Police have intelligence systems which this individual could easily have check and found out whether anyone had ever reported this.

    I simply used google and the snopes article was top.

    Police and Intelligence...... just like a computer, only as good as the person using it.

    Unless of course they use Vista.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    I wonder if it could be absorbed through the skin if first dissolved in DMSO (dimethylsulphoxide) and then pasted onto a card - DMSO can pass through the skin and apparently could drag other molecules with it. Whether the dose would be high enough is another matter.

  9. Dave

    "Burundanga does exist"

    Prove it. Show me where I can buy a plant, or some of the extract.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure he needs the overtime

    So, what's Simon Lofting's email address?

    I want to play too...

  11. Ricky H


    Forwarding on these emails either means you have led a very sheltered existence online or you're a newb to the web. I thought checking Snopes was routine before forwarding on these types of emails?

  12. Feef Lovecraft


    You can look it up under the more accurate name of Scopolamine, Burundanga is just a local name for the plant.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The gas station one is oddly reminiscent of Flann O'Brien's "Trink", the printing ink that gives off intoxicating fumes.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    In you, end. Oh!

    "But it must be ingested to take effect - touching it is not enough."

    I bet you say that to all the woman you meet at petrol stations.

    Burundanga? Didn't the middle-aged mutiny samurai terrapins used to yell that?

    Mines the long overcoat with all the business cards in.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    i got this email

    i got this email at work today, to be fair i did forward it to my partner!!!! The email was distrabuted from the top managers where i work!!!! lol

  16. Mark


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Dave

    Brugmansia is a genus of six species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae, native to subtropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Colombia to northern Chile, and also in southeastern Brazil. They are known as Angel's Trumpets, incorrectly sharing that name in the past with the closely related genus Datura, commonly known as "Thorn Apple". The genus differs from Datura in being perennial and woody (Datura species are herbaceous), and in having pendulous (not erect) flowers.

  18. Sillyfellow

    sounds like a load of burrudunga to me!


  19. Anonymous Coward

    Vice TV produced a mini documentary on Burundanga

    Unlikely to cause an effect from a business card, even if the card was pre soaked in DMSO/Scopolamine unless you ate the card that is . . .

    Inhalation or indigestion seem the common routes.

    Vice TV produced a mini documentary on Colombian devil's breath Burundanga AKA Scopolamine:

    I also recommend watching Garbage Island if you have time to spare. i's a bit long but illuminating none the less:

  20. Tonto Popaduopolos


    Clearly someone is trying to cause panic and dismay here. As if a young copper would be that stupid. You'll be telling me that there are coppers in training at Hendon getting nicked for possessing class A drugs next. Ridiculous!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thats what happens when you screw a coppers wife :P

  22. david Silver badge

    sent the mail on to senior officers

    So he is the scapegoat taking the fall for senior management?

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