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How to Handle Suspicious Mail Sent to Your Business

Your business or nonprofit organization needs to pay extra attention to incoming mail. Any letter or package that appears suspicious may contain harmful matter, like a bomb or biological, radioactive or nuclear substances.

RELATED: What to do if you receive a bomb threat

What constitutes suspicious mail?

Anything that looks different than the usual mail you get should be screened. Examples of suspicious mail may include a number of the following aspects:

  • Excessive postage with numerous lower cost stamps

  • No return address or a return address indicating foreign or unintelligible wording

  • Erroneous or incorrectly spelled or dubiously printed name, title or address, including unclear handwriting or haphazard or home-made labeling

  • Excessive packaging or binding

  • Seems to contain wires, aluminum foil or powder



  • Excessively weighty or of uneven shape comprised of soft or protruding areas

  • Dirty, soiled or leaky packaging

  • Unusual odor; noise emanating from package

  • Cancelled or other postal markings that can mean origination is from out of the country

  • Addressed to specified people and may include wording like ‘Personal’, ‘Private’, ‘Fragile’, ‘Open Immediately’, or ‘To be opened only by (specified name or title)’.

What to do with suspicious mail?

If you suspect you have received a suspicious letter or package, take the following steps:

  • Inform your business superior or alert the postal office or police
  • Keep suspicious mail separate and keep the area off limits
  • Advise all people who handled the mail to wash their hands with soap and water
  • Advise all who handled the mail to go home and shower, as well as to put clothing in plastic bag for evaluation by authorities
  • Keep a list of those who handled the mail for the authorities


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Summary: When politicians or businesses receive suspicious mail, it’s best to be super cautious. Here are the tips from the leading insurance agency on how to react.