Voice of the consumer: Uncle Sam doesn't want you, at least not yet

Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 8:18 AM MST
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11 News lead Call For Action investigator Katie Pelton pens a weekly column for our news partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.

The Army is warning about scam text messages that are being sent to people saying they have been selected in a draft.

I’m sure a lot of you are laughing at this because we live in a military town so we know that’s not how a draft would work. However, the messages threaten people with jail time if they don’t respond right away, which can cause some people to panic.

The texts say you have been marked eligible and you must come to the nearest branch for an “immediate departure” to the Middle East. This comes after 3,000 troops were deployed to the Middle East following a strike that killed a top Iranian general.

I reached out to Fort Carson and the post told me they don’t have any reports of people getting this message locally. However, the texts have been reported in several states across the country.

The message says that you need to call a phone number to contact an Army Recruiting Battalion right away. My guess is that when you call the number, the bad guys will ask you for money or for personal information.

The last line of the message says, “We’re aware that this number is not disconnected, you’ll be fined and sent to jail for a minimum 6 years if no reply.” The crooks are using fear tactics to scare you into calling them right away.

I know a lot of you may have served our country or know someone who has, so this scam may seem ridiculous to you. Especially since military drafts ended after the Vietnam War. The military has been all-volunteer since 1973.

“It would take an act of Congress and with presidential approval and really a global, international emergency necessity to create a draft,” Lt. Col. David Henning. commander of the Jacksonville, Florida Recruiting Battalion, told CBS News. “I was just really in a little bit of disbelief that people out there would take advantage of the situation that’s going on in the world right now and to use that as an opportunity to whatever gains.”

The Army said it’s not contacting anyone regarding a draft and the texts are not official communications. If you get this message, just delete it and block the phone number. Don’t respond to the text because then the crooks know you have a working phone number and they will just keep bugging you.

If you lost money to a scam, you should report it to your local law enforcement. If you’re the victim of a scam, you can also reach out to our 11 Call for Action team at 719-457-8211.

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