Suspicious mail

Be wary of suspicious packages and letters. They can contain explosives, chemical or biological agents. If you receive a package or letter that you suspect may be a terrorist threat:

  • Do not handle or move the suspicious mail.
  • Do not pull the fire alarm.
  • Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
  • Avoid tracking any spilled materials.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  • Call 911.
  • UMaine Police Department officials will respond to assess the situation and determine what further action is required.

Some typical characteristics postal inspectors have detected over the years, which should trigger suspicion, include parcels that:

  • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • Have no return address or a return address that can’t be verified as legitimate.
  • Are marked with restrictive endorsements such as “Personal,” “Confidential,” or “Do not X-ray.”
  • Have protruding wires or aluminum foil, strange odors or stains.
  • Show a city or state in the postmark that doesn’t match the return address.
  • Are of unusual weight given their size or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Are marked with threatening language.
  • Have inappropriate or unusual labeling.
  • Have excessive postage or packaging material, such as masking tape and string.
  • Have misspellings of common words.
  • Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
  • Have incorrect titles or titles without a name.
  • Are not addressed to a specific person.
  • Have handwritten or poorly typed addresses.