Duval County

Fake military draft texts, emails sent to men in Jacksonville, across the U.S., amid Iran tensions

Florida — Young men in Jacksonville, and around the United States, have gotten fraudulent text messages and emails saying they’ve been drafted into the military and are going to Iran.

Jacksonville High School teacher Amy Donofrio tells Action News Jax, a former student, who is now a 19-year-old man, reached out to her on Monday about a concerning text message.

“He called me yesterday in concern about a text message he got saying that they had been trying to reach him by email regarding the draft,” said Donofrio.

He sent the message to Donofrio, and she shared it with Action News Jax.

“Greetings, we are contacting you in regards to the United States Official Military Draft,” the text message sent to Donofrio’s former student read. “You have been considered eligible and must report to your nearest military branch for immediate departure to Iran. We have tried contacting you several times and have yet to receive a response. Please contact us immediately at the following number … ”

She tells us he also got several emails claiming he’d been drafted.

“Teenage boys don’t take much seriously, so he was trying to laugh it off, but I could tell he was a little bit concerned,” said Donofrio.

Action News Jax Reporter Ryan Nelson called the phone number listed in the message sent to the 19-year-old, and a person at a U.S. Army Recruiting Center answered. She said they’ve been inundated with calls from people concerned by the fake text messages.

Nelson also spoke one-on-one with local U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Commander David Henning. He tells us his battalion was contacted Monday by the mother of a young man who received one of the messages.

“I was kind of in a little bit of a disbelief that people would try to use this opportunity to put those kinds of messages out there, to impact our citizens,” said Henning.

Henning says his name was listed as a point of contact in the message the mother called about on Monday.

“The Selective Service handles those types of things,” said Henning. “It’s outside of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, outside of the Army.”

Action News Jax reached out to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for comment.

“These messages are fraudulent,” said a spokesperson. “Do not respond or call the numbers listed. If you have any questions, please contact your local recruiting facility.”

The U.S. Army Recruiting Command also issued a statement on the matter.

“A number of fraudulent text messages informing individuals they have been selected for a military draft have circulated throughout the country this week,” the U.S. Army Recruiting Command release read in part. “U.S. Army Recruiting Command has received multiple calls and emails about these fake text messages and wants to ensure Americans understand these texts are false and were not initiated by this command or the U.S. Army …”

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