LOS ANGELES - With rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran stirring up fears of World War III, fraudulent text messages have begun popping up on phones across the country, scaring many Americans into believing they have just been drafted.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Command said they have received several calls and emails regarding fake text messages being sent to Americans this week.
“Fact check: The U.S. Army is NOT contacting anyone regarding the draft. If you are receiving texts, phone calls or direct messages about a military draft, they are not official communications from the U.S. Army,” U.S. Army CGSC tweeted.
The texts request that the recipient report to their nearest military branch for “immediate departure to Iran" or receive a fine or jail time, according to the U.S. Army.
Following the U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week, the internet was flooded with memes suggesting an impending draft, but military officials clarified that a decision to enact a draft is not made by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.
Many memes included concerns from college students regarding their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which signs applicants up for selective service.
This wave of panic even prompted the shutdown of the Selective Service System’s website, which saw a surge in traffic from people attempting to verify their registration.
"The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual,” according to the Selective Service System’s official Facebook page. “In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft.“
The United States Military has been an all-volunteer service and has not enacted a draft since 1973.