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Suspicious Mail or Packages

You should always be wary of suspicious packages and letters as they might contain explosives, chemical, or biological agents. Over the years, postal inspectors have detected some typical characteristics that should trigger suspicion.

Watch for packages that:

  • Are unexpected or from someone totally unfamiliar to you.
  • 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 any threatening language.
  • Have inappropriate or unusual labeling.
  • Have excessive postage or excessive 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  • Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.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 a handwritten or poorly typed address.

If you believe a package is suspicious:

  • Notify the Department of Public Safety immediately.
  • Do not sniff or smell suspicious mail.
  • Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
  • Ensure that everyone remains until public safety personnel arrive.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  • List all people who were in the room or area when the suspicious letter or package was recognized, and provide the list to the Public Safety Supervisor for follow-up investigation.

Public safety personnel will respond and take charge of suspicious packages or letters and notify police for emergency service response if needed.

Department of Public Safety 
Rose Hill
Extension: 2222 or 5832
Phone: 718-817-2222 or 718-817-5832

Lincoln Center
Extension: 6076
Phone: 212-930-8888 or 212-636-6076

Westchester
Extension: 3333
Phone: 914-367-3001 or 914-367-3333