Man says internet router caused problems with Kansas unemployment system


Greg Mills kept trying to call the Kansas Department of Labor for months. He spent days on hold after losing his job as an Alzheimer’s medical researcher last year. He filed claims for benefits from the state’s unemployment system. But, Mills could not figure out why the department flagged his account for fraud.

“I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago, and thought to myself, you know, the only odd thing is that I got this new 5G internet router,” Mills said.Advertisement

Mills’ internet router has what he calls a floating IP address. The router can make it look like someone logs on from places like Denver, Chicago, or New Mexico depending on where his service provider sees the least congestion, Mills said.

Mills believes the department’s anti-fraud technology flagged his account inadvertently. KDOL saw a surge in fraud cases last year, recently implementing security upgrades to catch potential scammers.

He kept trying to call the labor department to notify operators about the potential mistake. But, no one could speak to him due to the fraud hold.

So, he called KMBC 9 Investigates for help.

Just two hours after KMBC sent an email to a labor department spokesman last week, Mills said he got a call from the KDOL fraud department saying they would lift the fraud hold.

“Within a couple of days, I’ve got the money they owed me and my bank account is pending, it’ll come through in the next day or so,” he said last week.

Kansas Department of Labor spokesman Jerry Grasso said he traded emails with Mills. Grasso said he also forwarded Mills’ information to the department’s internet technology and fraud teams for investigation.

Mills said he is glad his situation is resolved.

He wants the real scammers caught.

“You see a lot more about victims like me, who are entitled to the bunch and don’t get it, but not the people who are arrested,” he said. “I want to see people in handcuffs, then I feel a lot better.”

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