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What Should You Do If You Get a Suspicious Package? Tips on How to Handle It

As investigators analyze at least 10 suspicious packages sent across the country to high-ranking Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Robert De Niro and Maxine Waters, you may be looking for ways to deal with a suspicious package if you come across one.

Here are some tips on how to handle the situation from the United States Postal Service.

What to Look For on Envelopes:

  • No return address.
  • Restrictive markings, like labeling it "personal."
  • Envelopes sealed with tape.
  • Badly typed or handwritten wording.
  • Misspelled words.
  • Possibly mailed from a foreign country, or using excessive postage stamps.

What to Look For on Packages:

  • Excessive tape.
  • Oily stains, discoloration, or crystallization on the wrapping.
  • Strange odors.
  • Incorrect title or addressed to the title only at a business. 
  • Rigid or bulky packaging.
  • Lopsided or uneven packaging.
  • Protruding wires.

The USPS suggested the following tips for dealing with the package:

  • Stop, don't handle the item.
  • Isolate it immediately.
  • Don't open, smell or taste it.
  • Activate your emergency plan, if you have one, and notify a manager.
  • If you spot a suspicious package that you think may contain a bomb, or a chemical threat: isolate the area, call 911, and wash your hands with soap and water.
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