Utility Bill Hoax Hit Hundred In Murfreesboro

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- A hoax fueled by an e-mail led many people to show up seeking help to pay their utility bills, and authorities are investigating it as a possible crime.

State Human Services Department spokeswoman Michelle Mowery Johnson says a rumor that spread in Cannon and Rutherford counties claimed the government would help pay utility bills, regardless of the person's income.

More than 100 people were in line when the Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency opened Wednesday.

Johnson she says an e-mail with the letterhead of the Mid-Cumberland agency was circulated, but it wasn't from that office. There were also misleading fliers posted.

Johnson says an investigation into possible fraud is under way.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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