When residents open their mailboxes, they may be used to seeing a bunch of routine bills and mundane flyers.
Thus, to catch attention, a letter needs to come up with something eye-catching.
So when the Singapore Police Force (SPF) sent out an anti-scam letter recently, they decided to print just their letterhead on their envelope, plus a forceful plea: “Do Not Ignore This Letter”.
As residents certainly noticed, the tactic succeeded – though some thought the letter itself was a scam.
A netizen called u/JiPaiHongGanLiao shared the SPF letter on Reddit, simply saying it had “Squid Game vibes”.
For the uninitiated, Squid Game is a Netflix series that took the world by storm last year.
In the show, mystery men would hand people name cards inviting them to call the phone number to participate in the game.
One commenter seemed to agree on the resemblance (jokingly?), saying perhaps the letter invites you to a game where charges against you are dropped if you win.
This is especially since the letter has no name or address of the intended recipient.
The OP later said inside the envelope was a letter from his area commander to all residents.
Contained inside is a note from the police division commander of one’s estate, warning against scammers.
There’s also a leaflet listing out some signs of scams.
It’s an anti-scam awareness initiative by the Ang Mo Kio Police Division, the SPF told The Straits Times (ST) on Saturday (Jan 15).
The letters were sent to some 316,000 households in the estate.
However, others thought the letter itself could be a scam.
A comment on Reddit even said scammers are getting “really good” these days.
This is understandable, considering the number of scams going around nowadays. Some of them even involve scammers posing as police officers.
Another netizen was wary enough to claim he would just throw it in the bin.
Someone even believed it was a “crypto scam”.
Perhaps realising this, SPF Facebook pages like that of Ang Mo Kio South Neighbourhood Police Centre posted teasers saying the letters were not a scam.
Singaporeans who’re old enough might even be reminded of those inane chain letters circulated via snail mail when they were younger.
Basically, they would tell recipients to make copies of the letter and send them to others, or bad luck would befall them.
Anyway, SPF told ST that the letters were designed to “capture attention” and “generate interest” among residents.
The large font and red text on the envelope used “behavioural insights principles”, they added.
They were meant to “nudge” people to read the contents and spread the message.
However, residents told ST that they were initially “suspicious” and “jumpy” when they 1st saw the envelopes.
Eventually, the letters made it to the trash can.
Given the prevalence of scams and the numerous people still falling for them, it’s safe to say that the anti-scam message is still important.
Even though it’s ironic that an anti-scam letter from the police was suspected to be a scam, it arguably achieved its purpose – to make Singaporeans wary of scams.
Some might say the campaign was a resounding success, as the letters did get the attention they deserved.
Do you think the SPF letters did their job? Do share your thoughts with us.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image adapted from u/JiPaiHongGanLiao on Reddit and Alex Rollie on Carousell.
Father of the xiao long bao.
Get one for yourself and one for a friend – or two for yourself, we…
Asking the important questions.
The pile caps form the foundation of the RTS Link rail viaduct.
A new lease of life for an old-school favourite.
Each stall offers at least one meal costing S$4 or less.