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Several agencies warn of fake military draft scams

Updated: Jan. 9, 2020 at 12:51 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Several agencies are warning about military misinformation spreading on social media in the days following the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. That includes reports about several scams related to a draft.

The U.S. Army Recruiting Command put out an urgent notice Tuesday warning about fake texts circulating across the country this week.

“I have seen memes of such sort saying you should go to your recruitment office," said Avery Thomas who is a sophomore in high school.

The texts tell people they’ve been selected for a military draft and tell the recipients to call a particular number or go to their recruiting office immediately. If the recipients don’t reply, the text threatens that they’ll be fined and sent to jail for at least six years.

“I have been getting the messages, but I don’t pay that much attention to it. I don’t open them. I be like it’s a hack. They’re trying to hack me," said ninth-grader Quintavius Williams.

If you get one of these fake texts, Mallory Vergara with the Better Business Bureau in Columbus warns people not to click on anything.

“As soon as you click that information, they can hack into your phone, get your email, address, social, whatever information that you have on your phone," Vergara said.

That personal information could include your email, address or social security number. Vergara said texts with a bunch of letters at the end of the message or misspellings are good indicators that it’s likely a hacker.

“It feels like an episode or any event that’s happening that they can come up with a new text message," she explained.

In the days after the U.S. airstrike that killed an Iranian general, ‘World War Three’ has been trending on social media.

“It’s very serious, but just the way that kids or teenagers are these days, there’s a way to make fun out of anything,” Thomas said.

Just hours after the announcement about the U.S. airstrike, the Selective Service System, which keeps registration information in the event of a military draft, tweeted that their website crashed due to the spread of misinformation. This happening as hashtag ‘World War III’ became one of the top trends on Twitter Friday.

“People could be going out to war and losing their lives and I just feel like that shouldn’t be joked about," Thomas said.

The Selective Service then tweeting earlier this week about websites claiming to be the Selective Service charging for registration. They warn that you will not be registered and your personal information could be at risk.

After the social media frenzy following the rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the Selective Service System tweeted that they are conducting business as usual. They included that Congress and the president would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft.

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