SINGAPORE, Dec 17 — A 59-year-old woman nearly lost S$500,000 after she was tricked into providing her personal particulars and internet banking credentials by someone who claimed to be from the High Court.

The scam was foiled six days later on Oct 28, when the police and digital asset trading company QCP Capital intervened in time to convince the victim that she had fallen prey to a government official impersonation scam.

In a news release today, the police said that between January and September this year, there were at least 50 victims who were deceived by people impersonating High Court officials, with at least S$6.8 million lost.

In the case of the 59-year-old victim, investigations revealed that she received a call on Oct 22 from a man who claimed to be from the High Court purportedly informing her that she had been implicated in a money laundering case by an accused person.

When she denied knowing the person, the man advised her to lodge a report. The call was then allegedly transferred to someone claiming to be an "Inspector Lim" from the Singapore Police Force.

She was then instructed to provide her personal particulars and banking credentials for police investigations. She was also told to download a messaging application to report her daily movement.

The ruse was discovered when QCP Capital's staff members found discrepancies after a new customer using the identity of the victim tried to register an account online with the company.

After due diligence checks as part of its on-boarding process, the company suspected something was amiss and alerted the police. 

The police added that the woman's case "highlights the strong partnership between the police and the community in crime fighting and scam prevention".

They reminded the public that victims assisting in police investigations will not be asked to provide their banking credentials.

Government officials would also not identify themselves by sending a picture of their warrant cards or official documents via social media because these are confidential.

The public is advised to refrain from giving out personal information and bank details over the phone and to ignore any instruction to remit or transfer money.

For more information on scams, the public may visit www.scamalert.sg or call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800-722-6688. — TODAY