Did the Financial Times report that a man was "arrested after he spent 17 years traveling the country with a hacked debit card that gave him the exact amount of money needed for any purchase"? No, that's not true: A spokesperson for the Financial Times confirmed to Lead Stories that the outlet did not publish this story, and a search through the newspaper's digital database returned no such results. A reverse image search found that the supposed mugshot belonged to a visually impaired man who was arrested in October 2022 when his walking cane was mistaken for a gun.
A version of the claim originated in an image shared on Twitter on July 8, 2023, (archived here) that was altered to appear as though the British daily newspaper the Financial Times published a report of a "Man arrested after he spent 17 years traveling the country with a hacked debit card that gave him the exact amount of money needed for any purchase." A caption that accompanied the post read:
Damn how he got caught
Below is how the post appeared at the time of this publication:
(Source: Twitter screenshot taken Sat July 15 22:31:05 UTC 2023)
A search for "man arrested debit card" through the Financial Times digital database returned no results confirming that such an arrest or charges had occurred.
A reverse image search revealed that the image included in the post on Twitter was initially posted to the humor site iFunny on June 6, 2023. Other characteristics of the post suggest that it is fake, including that the image includes a stock photo of a cellphone SIM card rather than a debit card.
No credible news publication or official government statement describing such an event was publicly available as of July 18, 2023. A search of Google News, which indexes thousands of credible news sites, using the keywords "man arrested hacked debit card" produced no credible independent reports supporting the claim.
The mugshot shown in the post is an actual mugshot but from an unrelated case. A reverse image search showed that it featured James Hodges, a visually impaired man who was arrested on October 31, 2022, after officers in Columbia County, Florida, mistook his folded walking stick for a firearm.
Rhonda Taylor, head of communications at Financial Times, confirmed in an email to Lead Stories received July 18, 2023, that the outlet did not publish the story and that it was "fake news."
Lead Stories has also debunked claims that The Washington Post reported Bill Gates was "being held under armed watch at Guantanamo Bay," that a doctored photo showing a man with a black eye did not depict Paul Pelosi's mugshot and that an altered image did not authentically show Donald Trump's booking photo.