Army says text messages contacting people about the draft are fake

The Army is warning that any text messages people receive saying they have been selected for a military draft are fake amid heightened tensions with Iran.
/ Source: TODAY

The U.S. Army is warning people that text messages saying the recipient has been selected to a military draft are a hoax.

The Army released a statement Tuesday saying that it has been made aware of fraudulent text messages circulating that tell people they have been selected for the draft, which was abolished in 1973 in favor of an all-volunteer military force.

"Fact check: The U.S. Army is NOT contacting anyone regarding the draft,'' the Army's official account tweeted. "If you are receiving texts, phone calls or direct messages about a military draft, they are not official communications from the U.S. Army."

The U.S. Army Recruiting Command said in the news release that it's looking to dispel the rumors after getting calls and emails from people who have received the fake messages.

The fraudulent texts have circulated during heightened tensions with Iran after Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump. Iran retaliated early Wednesday by firing ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases housing U.S. forces.

Recipients of the fraudulent text messages are instructed to call the sender before reporting to the nearest U.S. Army branch office "for immediate departure to Iran," according to the Army Times. The messages pretend to be from actual recruiting battalions, and some threaten a fine or jail time for not reporting.

All men from 18 to 25 years old are required to register with the Selective Service System, a separate agency outside the Department of Defense that would manage any draft if one was enacted.

Registering for the Selective Service does not enlist a person into the military, the Army emphasized in its news release.

The Selective Service also addressed the hoax by saying it's "conducting business as usual" and that Congress and President Trump would have to pass legislation to authorize a draft.