A number of fraudulent text messages informing individuals they have been selected for a military draft have circulated throughout the country this week.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Command has received multiple calls and emails about these fake text messages and wants to ensure Americans understand these texts are false and were not initiated by this command or the U.S. Army.
Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau, said, “A lot of times scammers are taking advantage of an emotional opportunity. Obviously, things are going on overseas that have Americans uneasy. Scammers are taking advantage of that.”
The decision to enact a draft is not made at or by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. The Selective Service System is the organization that manages registration for The Selective Service.
“They’re taking advantage of that by sending scam texts to individuals in America saying that there’s a draft of maybe they’ve been selected and in our opinion a lot of times when scammers are doing that they’re trying to use your emotions against you and trying to get your personal identifiable information so that they can potentially steal your identity,” explained Babin.
The draft has not been in effect since 1973 and the military has been an all-volunteer force since that time.
Experts say these text messages are likely forms of a phishing scam.
“Phishing text messages. You’re not really going to think clearly when you’re scared or worried about something,” added Babin. “Somebody getting a text message that they might be selected for the draft is probably a nervous time for them and they might actually send them the information back to that number, that text with their name, their date of birth, their Social Security Number trying to identify themselves. When in reality, it’s just a scammer trying to steal their identity.”
The Better Business Bureau says these so-called phishing text messages originate overseas.
Here are some tips regarding these false military draft texts:
- Check the spelling of the text message and the way things are worded.
- Don’t give phone numbers you don’t know through call or text any of your personal information.
- In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, congress and the president would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft.
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.