Bogus texts incite fear over draft amid tensions in the Middle East

Fear over possible draft has people on edge after fake messages circulate

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Tensions between the United States and Iran seem to be calming down, but fear over a possible draft still has many folks on edge. Some have even gotten phony text messages claiming they have been drafted.

“I knew it was a scam because like, you texted me,” said Eric Haynes.

Haynes got one of the bogus messages. It reads in part, “This is Chief Petty Officer Williams, you have been drafted to the USS Army.”

The text goes on to list a meeting time in New Orleans for Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 at 2 p.m. Haynes says he was shocked when the message popped up on his phone around noon Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Eric Haynes received these phony texts telling him he'd been drafted.
Eric Haynes received these phony texts telling him he'd been drafted. (Source: Eric Haynes)

“It was scary. I received it and a couple more people I knew received it,” he said. “The woman was asking me to come to New Orleans and I have to be there by a certain time on a certain day and when I googled up the address it was a truck stop, like a trucking yard in New Orleans.”

He chose to respond to the message, saying he would be contacting the news and law enforcement. The scammer then resorted to threats, telling him, “We have a list of Louisiana reps that had your name on the list. You’ll face federal time in state prison if the meeting is missed.”

“I just don’t want nobody to fall for it,” said Haynes.

While it’s unknown exactly what the person behind the message is after, what is clear is the messages are fake. The U.S Army Recruiting Command tweeted Wednesday, Jan. 8 that they are not contacting anyone regarding the draft, slamming those text messages as false.

The Selective Service System also weighed in on social media recently, saying they are conducting business as usual, adding if a draft were necessary, both Congress and the president would have to sign off on it.

The U.S. Army has confirmed they are not contacting anyone about a draft and that the messages circulating are false.
The U.S. Army has confirmed they are not contacting anyone about a draft and that the messages circulating are false. (Source: Twitter)

As for the phony alerts, Haynes says he just wants to help get the word out so no one else gets taken in by the lie.

“Just don’t respond back to it because it’s a scam,” he added.

The military draft ended in 1973 in the United States. Serving in the armed forces continues to remain voluntary at this time.

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