Suspicious Letters

How to identify suspicious letters/packages

Inappropriate or unusual labeling:

  • Excessive postage Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
  • Misspellings of common words
  • Strange return address or no return address
  • Incorrect titles or title without a name
  • Not addressed to a specific person
  • Marked with restrictions, such as “Personal”, “Confidential”, or “Do Not X-Ray”
  • Marked with any threatening language
  • Postmarked from a city or state that does not match the return address

Appearance:

Powdery substance felt through or appearing on the package or envelope
Oily stains, discoloration, or odor
Lopsided or uneven envelope
Excessive packaging material such as masking tape, string, etc.

Other suspicious signs:
Excessive weight
Ticking sound
Protruding wires or aluminum foil

How to handle a suspicious package or envelope

  • Do not shake or empty contents of any suspicious package or envelope.
  • Do not carry the package or envelope, show it to others or allow others to examine it.
  • Put the package or envelope down on a stable surface; do not stiff, touch, taste, or look closely at it or at contents, which may have spilled.
  • Alert others in the area about the suspicious package or envelope. Leave the area, close any doors, and take action to prevent others from entering the area. If possible, shut off the ventilation system.
  • WASH hands with soap and water to prevent spreading potentially infectious material to face or skin. Seek additional instructions for exposed or potentially exposed persons.
  • Notify supervisor, Lamar Police Department (Ext. 8311), University/Institute Safety Specialist, and University Post Office.
  • If possible, create a list of persons who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized and a list of persons who also may have handled this package or letter. Give this list to the University/Institute Safety Specialist and Lamar Police Department.