Text messages used for U.S. Army recruitment scam debunked

Text messages used for U.S. Army recruitment scam debunked

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - After the U.S. drone strike on the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani rumors began to swirl about the possibility of a new war in the Middle East.

That’s when some people began to notice fake text messages telling recipients they had been drafted and asking them to report to their nearest army recruiting office.

The draft hasn’t been used since 1973, and according to Captain Paxton Haydel, Commander for the U.S. Army Recruiting Company.

“Enrolling in the Selective Service doesn’t automatically enlist you into the United States Military," Capt. Haydel said. “Per the selective service, which is the entity that oversees the draft, Congress and the President of the United States would have to enact legislation if a national emergency exists where a draft is necessary.”

This means that in the case of an actual draft the notification would come from the U.S. Selective Service, not the U.S. Army.

U.S. Army Recruiter for Lake Charles, Sergeant James Kelly says the army only uses texting to help them recruit.

“Normally through text messaging the recruiter will get a contact list and he will send a simple text, ‘Hello, I’m Sergeant First class Kelly, United States Army. How are you doing?,'" Sgt. Kelly said. "The text message should be basic, should be simple, nothing long and drawn out.”

Texts from recruiters will come from local numbers and the recipient can always call or text back for verification. If a person suspects the call is fake, Sgt. Kelly says they can contact their local recruiting office for confirmation.

Recruiters can also reach out through phone calls, Facebook, Instagram and through job postings from sites like Indeed.

“Our average time from contact to where they actually sign an enlistment contract with the United States Army is 14 days,” Sgt. Kelly said.

Prospective recruits should be aware that they can back out at any time during the recruitment process without any penalty.

“Since 1973 we’ve been an all volunteer force so part of our job as recruiters is to go out and maintain our force capabilities and recruit an all-volunteer force,” Sgt. Kelly said.

Last year, the Lake Charles area produced 75 U.S. Army recruits.

For more information about careers in the U.S. Army, click HERE.

If you’re interested in joining a career in the army, you can contact Sgt. James Kelly at (337) 493-7077.

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