The US Army on Tuesday warned people about fraudulent text messages pretending to be an official draft notice.
Officials first found out about the texts on Monday, US Army Recruiting Command (USARC) media relations chief Lisa Ferguson told BuzzFeed News.
“We had phone calls from parents, and our recruiters let us know they were hearing from people who’d received these texts,” she said.
In screenshots shared with BuzzFeed News, the texts state that the recipients have “been marked eligible” for the draft and “must come to the nearest branch...for immediate departure to Iran.” The texts add that officials had tried to email the individual “several times" and they face jail time for not responding.
The texts in the screenshots appear to have been sent in the Florida and New Jersey areas.
“We don’t have any way of knowing if some areas are receiving more texts than others unless we were to query all 1,400 recruiting stations and more than 10,000 recruiters,” Ferguson said.
A "fraud alert" on the USARC website clarified that the draft is actually the responsibility of the Selective Service System, which maintains a record of eligible people. Registering does not automatically enlist someone in the Army, which is an all-volunteer force.
The Selective Service System tweeted that it is “conducting business as usual” and that in the event of a national emergency, Congress and the president would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft.
Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian commander, was killed in an airstrike by US forces last week. Since then, there has been a steady stream of memes, jokes, and TikToks about people getting drafted for a potential World War III.
The USARC statement noted that a draft hasn't been in effect since 1973, when it was used for the Vietnam War.
The Selective Service System did not immediately respond to a request for comment.