A Facebook post claims a woman impersonated a nurse, stole a newborn baby from a hospital and is now on the loose.
The post appeared in the Facebook group Darwin NT Buy, Swap, Sell and Wanted on August 14 with an image of a woman in a nurse outfit caught on CCTV.
But the posts are all hoaxes.
The caption from the Darwin post states: “Commūnity álert! This wóman impersónated hèrself às a nûrse ànd stóle a 2 dày ôld bāby bôy fròm a lōcal hōspital in (Darwin). Shé was cāught on CCTV and is ōn thè loôse and if anyōne sēes her pleāse repōrt thîs tō yōur neārest pōlice stātion & shāre this pōst so we hēlp the 27yr ōld first timē mōther in reūniting wîth her sōn.”
The location of the hospital is changed for each post and some versions feature text using accents and macrons above vowels.
The images used in some posts also vary, although most feature two CCTV shots, a mugshot and an image of a baby (see below).
Analysis of the images reveal the CCTV shots and the baby come from a 2021 incident where a newborn was allegedly kidnapped by a fake nurse in Mexico.
The story was published by several British tabloids (see here and here) and in Mexico (here). The official Twitter account of the Jalisco State Prosecutor’s Office in Mexico tweeted one of the photos here and sent out an amber alert for a missing baby here on August 26, 2021.
A reverse image search of the mugshot reveals it is taken from a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in California. The release is about an alleged attempted kidnapping incident at the Riverside University Health System Medical Center on July 14.
AAP FactCheck previously reported on a similar hoax regarding a supposed serial killer on the loose.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) has identified similar viral hoaxes targeting Facebook groups, originating from users in Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Claims that a woman impersonated a nurse and stole a baby from a hospital in Darwin and other locations across Australia and New Zealand are false. The posts are all hoaxes and the images have been traced back to incidents in Mexico, the US and the Philippines from as early as 2016.
False – The claim is inaccurate.