Fact Check


Photograph shows a duck stealing money from a woman's purse.

Published Oct 3, 2006

Claim:   Photograph shows a duck stealing money from a woman's purse.

Status:   Real photograph; inaccurate description.

Examples: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]

Seems the Better Business Bureau got a complaint the other day about a scam in which AFLAC allegedly was taking advantage of women on the street and stealing their money.

Now we all at one time or another have thought that INSURANCE Companies have stolen from us; however, this scam is netting COLD HARD CASH from unsuspecting individuals.

The way it works is the thief uses children to distract the target. While admiring the cuteness of the kids the target is robbed of her cash and never knows what hit her.

I'm sending this out for all to be aware that this is happening and it's right out on the streets in front of the general public.

A passer-by with a digital camera phone happened to capture the photo attached.

Review it carefully and use caution when distractions like this come along.

Good Luck, and don't say you weren't warned.

Click to enlarge

Origins:   We're

used to seeing ducks with bills, but always their own, not ones they've pilfered from innocent passers-by ...

The explanation accompanying the picture above about AFLAC-trained ducks using ducklings to distract unsuspecting women on the street while they rob them of their cash is obviously someone's fanciful invention. But knowing that still left us wondering just what was the context for this photograph.

As it turns out, this image comes from the In Photo web site of Donncha O Caoimh, who snapped the picture on State Street in Chicago when he stumbled upon a shoot in progress for some type of advertisement. (The ducks seen in the photograph were props, not live animals.) The ad campaign
turned out to be a Western Union spot promoting the safety of Western Union's money transfer service.

Last updated:   3 October 2006


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Read More

a Member

Your membership is the foundation of our sustainability and resilience.


Ad-Free Browsing on Snopes.com
Members-Only Newsletter
Cancel Anytime