Newspaper: Ohioans abusing free cell phone program

DAYTON, Ohio - A newspaper investigation has found that tens of thousands of Ohioans are abusing a federal program that gives free cell phones to low-income households.

The Dayton Daily News reports ( ) that cell phone companies are promoting it heavily and it is so commonly abused that 26,500 Ohioans in November have been notified they are violating the rules.

Companies get up to $10 each month for each person who signs up.

The 26,500 who were notified represent 5 percent of all users. They are suspected of signing up for more than one line. They have 35 days to pick one provider to stick with.

The program had 280,000 Ohioans enrolled in 2008, but that has grown to almost 600,000 this year. The 2010 cost in Ohio was $58.9 million.

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