Government Cracks Down On Free Cell Phone Program


In February, Watchdog 10 reported about waste with a government cell phone program.

After a national outcry for reform, the federal government promised to crack down.

Now, Watchdog 10 has the numbers that show how much taxpayers have saved since that time.

The free phones are supposed go to the poor, and the rules say only one to a household.

But across the country, some people snatched-up as many as they could get their hands on.

“I signed up for like two, I got two already. I got two of  them. One have like 250 minutes, the other have 68 minutes,” said a guy who got four of the phones.

Since the fraud caught the government’s attention, Watchdog 10 has learned that the federal agency in charge of the program has already cut back on millions of wasted tax dollars.

The Federal Communications Commission said it's pulled the plug on so many people who had more than one phone that taxpayers will save at least $200 million this year.

The agency is also saving by refusing to pay for outdated services like long distance restrictions. In Ohio, that translates to a $67,000 savings just since January.

All of the changes mean the poor will still get their phones, but taxpayers won't have to pay for so much waste.

The Federal Communications Commission also said it's done more to make people prove they're actually eligible to get the free phones.

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