KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — A local catering company called Mango Chutney was the latest victim to a scam involving individuals claiming to be from educational institutions, losing RM22,000 as a result.

Its founder C. Suhashini told Malay Mail that the scammer who claimed to be from the Ministry of Education, had requested the company to cater a dinner for 60 teachers from SMK Bukit Rahman Putra in Sungai Buloh, which turned out to be a fraudulent order.

“I already made a police report and I spent the whole day in the police station, but they told me they can’t do much. There’s no way I’m going to get my money back,

“I just don’t want this to happen to anybody [again], or any other business owners,” she told Malay Mail last night.

A post shared by Mango Chutney | Food Catering (@mango_chutneyz)

According to Suhashini, the individual had presented an official letter claiming to be from the ministry on June 11, and had then agreed on the details for the dinner.

However, she said yesterday morning they had called asking for an order of 30 bottles of non-alcoholic sparkling juice, allegedly to be presented as door gifts for the teachers.

“They sounded very desperate, and they were rushing me,” she related.

She said she had placed two orders for drinks and deposited the money through online transfer twice, before the individual called again to urge her to buy 30 more bottles.

“That’s when it hit me — oh my God, it’s a scam,” she said.

According to her police report sighted by Malay Mail, she later confirmed the matter after heading to the school and asking about the event — only to be told that no such thing is happening. The scammer had by then become uncontactable.

This incident mirrored a recent case where another catering service, PichaEats, was also scammed by a fake order purportedly from University of Malaya with a Higher Education Ministry letterhead.

PichaEats had then announced an emergency sale of meals to recoup the losses after the fraudulent order for 500 meals.

When asked about whether it had been an oversight to not take a deposit prior to accepting the order, PichaEats co-founder Suzanne Ling said it was common for caterers to not require one for corporate or government events.

In a statement issued after the incident, UM said it was considering legal action over the misuse of its trademark to place a fictitious 500-person catering order with social enterprise PichaEats.

The university said it is considering measures including lodging a police report and taking legal action.

Expressing sympathy for those affected by the incident, UM advised them to also lodge reports with the police.

Are you also a caterer who has faced similar scams? Contact Malay Mail at [email protected] to share your experience.