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When it comes to car theft, there is certainly no shortage of creative ways for criminals to find themselves behind the seat of your ride. However, this rumor implies that they aren’t after the car; they’re after you. Allegedly, criminals are now placing $100 bills laced with Fentanyl on windshields. Viral social media posts say that it’s to render the victim touching the money unconscious and kidnap them. Is there any truth to this rumor?

What is fentanyl?

A vial of Fentanyl, a dangerous opioid, concentrated into a liquid
Fentanyl | Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

According to the National Institutes of Health, Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic similar to Morphine. However, its effects are 50 to 100 times more potent than Morphine. Undoubtedly, it is a hazardous drug, and it has taken many lives. What it isn’t, though, is likely to make you ill from skin contact.

WKRN news from Nashville, Tennessee, consulted with Dr. Caleb Alexander, professor of epidemiology in medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health. Multiple reports of finding folded-up dollar bills with Fentanyl and Methamphetamine in the Nashville area led to a woman claiming she touched one and wound up in a hospital from overdosing.

“The risks of exposure through the skin are incredibly, incredibly small. I can’t just put my hand in a bag, touch some powder, and overdose from fentanyl. You pick up that, the dollar bills, and maybe there’s a bunch of powder in there and put that in your mouth, then that’s a different scenario. You can certainly overdose from ingesting a good amount of powder,” Dr. Edwards explained.

Are criminals really using laced $100 bills to kidnap people?

A stack of U.S. $100 bills with Benjamin Franklin on them
$100 bills | Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Steering Wheel Lock Doesn’t Have to Work to Protect You From Car Thieves

With that fact in mind, let’s dive into the more significant part of this claim and disregard Fentanyl for the moment. Many folks sharing the story claim an unspecified “debilitating substance” is on the money under the windshield.

According to Atlanta News First, there have yet to be any criminal reports filed for $100 bills found on peoples’ windshields. One theory is that counterfeiters are placing the money on windshields in hopes that folks will use them to test whether they’re convincing enough to be taken. The true motive is unknown at the moment, but it seems the kidnapping strategy isn’t likely.

Ultimately, though, if you wind up in a situation where you find money on your windshield, it’s best to notify the police and leave it in place. If you’ve already entered your car and started it, drive away immediately. Once you’ve reached a place you feel safe, then contact the authorities. In general, though, it’s best practice not to take the money.