A photo of Robert Irwin holding a snake.
Robert Irwin, the conservationist son of the late Steve Irwin, has not been arrested. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS

Fake photos of Robert Irwin’s ‘arrest’ appear in Facebook scam

Nik Dirga July 1, 2024

Images show a bloodied and bruised Robert Irwin following his arrest.


False. The images are manipulated photos from the conservationist's Instagram account.

AAP FACTCHECK – Conservationist Robert Irwin appears bloodied and bruised in images taken after he was arrested, according to some social media users.

This is false. The images are manipulated versions of photos that the son of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin posted on Instagram and there’s no record of an arrest.

The claim appears in a Facebook post with an image of Irwin apparently with a black eye and bruises and what appears to be a link to a news story with the headline: “Robert Irwin was apprehended, but it was too late – he had already said everything.”

An image of a Facebook post showing altered image of Robert Irwin.
 Robert Irwin, the conservationist son of the late Steve Irwin, has not been arrested. 

“Tim McDonald commented on Robert Irwin’s words: ‘It’s absolute madness to disclose information of this scale on live air; these words are capable of turning the financial foundations of Australian society upside down,'” the post caption says.

The post also includes a screenshot of a video with the overlay text saying: “The whole country is in a state of shock after yesterday’s news. Robert Irwin has said goodbye to his normal life.” 

The same claim also appears in another Facebook post using a different image of Irwin. 

However, a Google reverse image search reveals the pictures used in the posts are altered versions of photos posted by the conservationist on his own Instagram account here and here. 

Channel 10 host Tim McDonald interviewed Irwin for the TV show The Cheap Shots in 2023, but a video of the segment shows that they didn’t discuss the financial system.

In reality, the only “confession” Irwin made during the interview was that he’s not a fan of wombats.

A photo of an eight-month-old baby wombat.
 Robert Irwin didn’t talk about the financial system, he spoke about his issues with wombats. 

There are no media reports that Irwin has been arrested.

Queensland police told AAP FactCheck while they couldn’t look up specific cases for privacy reasons, there were no verified reports of his arrest.

False claims about Irwin’s arrest have been seen online in recent weeks in what appears to be part of a cryptocurrency scam.  

The Australian government’s National Anti Scam Centre has warned that fake news stories and use of celebrities are often used to lure people into cryptocurrency scams. 

The Verdict

The claim that images show a bloodied and bruised Robert Irwin following his arrest is false.

The images are manipulated photos from his own Instagram account.

False – the claim is inaccurate.

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