Mail Bombs

What should you do if you receive a suspicious piece of mail?

  1. Don't try to open the mail or handle it further to avoid spreading the suspicious substances.
  2. Isolate the mail piece.
  3. Call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (press 2).

Scheme Information

Dangerous Mailings

Threatening Letter Scam

Many items can not be sent through the U.S. Mail because they are hazardous and dangerous.


Threatening Letter Scam

Ricin is a powerful, naturally poisonous chemical for which there is no antidote. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, nausea, fever, weakness, seizures, and heart failure.


Threatening Letter Scam

Poison, explosives, flammable materials, mail bombs and anything that may injure or kill are just a few of what fall into the category of prohibited or dangerous mailings.


What are the odds of you receiving a potentially dangerous piece of mail? The likelihood of you receiving a mail bomb or a harmful biological or chemical agent is extremely remote. Considering that the Postal Service delivers approximately 160 billion pieces of mail per year, the chances of receiving a potentially hazardous piece of mail are extremely minute - almost literally a billion to one.

Although more than 99 percent of the reports of suspicious mail have been false alarms or hoaxes, when an explosive device is sent through the mail, Postal Inspectors drop everything and investigate. Fortunately, they are a rarity. But the mailings are a serious federal offense that endangers the recipient and often disrupts postal operations. And the mailer faces significant jail time. If you receive a suspicious item in the mail, don't open it. Give us a call. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Our experience has shown that most substances or items found in the mail are not hazardous, but rather unknown -- there are characteristics about the item that create uncertainty. If a package does cause suspicion, you can usually verify these mailings simply by contacting the sender of the package to verify the contents.

It's also important to put these prevention tips into play regarding items delivered by other carriers, such as FedEX and UPS. And take it even one step further - anything that is delivered or left on your doorstep by any delivery service or stranger as what we recently saw happen in Austin, Texas.

Dangerous Mailings Poster