The lure of government payments

Ever since the dawn of democracy and devolution of powers into the hands of people, a romance with the notion of government has persisted across the world. In societies and countries where there has been an overhang of exploitative practices, the lure of government employment and government contracts has never ceased. This has resulted in scams for the people, scams by the people, and scams of the people.

Image of a Government Body with representatives

Since the private industry is either dominated by a few key players or severely competitive in open segments, the only means of getting by is either thru government contracts and employment. And feeding on this frenzy for government contracts, employments and payments are unscrupulous elements that prey on these tendencies. Nowhere is this frenzy greater than in countries such as India. In India, government jobs are considered worth their weight in gold. Let us now understand a fraud that was perpetrated using the name of one government institution.

Karnataka Public Service Commission - Jobs and appointments

The Karnataka Public Service Commission Diamond Jubilee Building

The Karnataka Public Services Commission (KPSC) is the nodal agency that carries out examinations, recruits employees for various government agencies and departments. Post-1921, it is the Central Authority constituted in the State to advise Government and other Appointing Authorities in the matters of recruitment to the state civil services.

On the organization's web home page is a scrolling notice - 

!WARNING...  Candidates for various recruitments under KPSC are hereby warned not to be influenced by touts or middleman promising appointments by KPSC for monetary considerations. Anybody found indulging in such corrupt practices whether they are the staff of KPSC or outsiders or candidates will be dealt with strictly under the law. 

The above notice is put out both in English and the local language - Kannada. In spite of this, the lure of government appointments, contracts, and payments neither stop nor go down. And this gives fraudsters and scammers a perfect setting to make money.

The Perfect Employment Scam

Arun Kumar, a resident of Davanagere in Karnataka masqueraded as a KPSC member and promised a number of people jobs in the state government. Any potential government employee has to appear for examinations and other potential processes before they are considered. This is quite widely known and in spite of this knowledge, the lure of government jobs attracts people to it like fireflies.

KPSC Government Employment Job Promise Scam article

Arun Kumar has so far defrauded people of Rs.1.6 Crore ( About $220K). Amongst the jobs promised are sub-inspector jobs at departments such as excise. Departments such as excise are part of the colonial remnant - called "Inspector Raj". In these departments, inspectors have wide-ranging powers that enable them to harass and extract money from businesses and industries. Thus the lure of these appointments and the high value paid for these appointments. 

How to avoid a scam like this?

The larger picture to avoid scams like these needs a systemic change which is not the concern of Vouch. However, this scam is just a poster child of other scams such as the promise of educational institution seats, promises of appointments to government and semi-government bodies, fast-tracking tender approvals, approval for government schemes, approval of anything that is a "benefit" granted by the government. These schemes run into hundreds and have a long line of victims. Some are valid requests where people genuinely help people get started with the process but most are scams. 

Irrespective of valid and invalid requests, one needs a way to protect their money and that is where Vouch comes in. Here is how one can avoid a scam like this:

1. Understand the official process - Understanding the approval or appointment process is essential. Every process requires some sort of paperwork

2. Go to the source - while an element of greed trips people from going to the source, in this case, the public services commission, going to the source helps understand if the position even exists. A simple inquiry with the source provides a great deal of clarity

3. Verify the person's antecedents - Carrying out a quick background check of the person promising the appointment helps immensely. Inquire about the people they are going to work with, the names of officers that they will work with to make this work, dates for the process, etc., This will itself greatly eliminate the charlatans from the real ones

4. Make payments thru a platform such as Vouch - Make payments where the payment itself is released after the promise is delivered. This one single step will eliminate most of the fraud. It will establish a  payment trail and help people avoid losing their money

· · ·

This is Fraud Story #24. Check back here for more fraud chronicles and scams that you can protect yourself from.

Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!


Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about how to avoid frauds like these. Do you have a fraud that you would like to report? Please write to us at