Anxiety is high around the United States thanks to the possibility of yet another war in the Middle East, and scammers are taking full advantage of it.
Some people around the country have gotten text messages that say they’ve been drafted by the military and need to report for “immediate departure to Iran,” according to The Verge. These messages are, of course, totally fake, but the U.S. Army had to release a statement confirming as much on Tuesday.
The texts weren’t sent by the Army or any other government-affiliated organization. In a statement to The Verge, the Army also confirmed it has no idea who did send them.
This all came on the heels of last week’s military assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. The situation didn’t improve on Tuesday night, as Iran fired missiles at two bases with U.S. soldiers in them in Iraq. Both the U.S. and Iraqi governments denied that there were casualties.
While the news is justifiably harrowing to those who would prefer not to be at war, there’s no reason to be afraid of a Vietnam-style draft just yet, per a nifty explainer from USA Today. The U.S. military has been volunteer-based for nearly 50 years, with the exception of a Selective Service System that keeps tabs on men between the ages of 18 and 26.
That database wouldn’t be used to involuntarily conscript people into service unless Congress drafted legislation to do so. That happened in the Civil War, both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam, but it’s been on standby since 1973. The state of the world in 2020 makes it unwise to make definitive predictions sometimes, but don’t bet money on that happening — at least not in the very near future.