Suspicious Letters, Packages, and Devices

Please familiarize yourself with these procedures so you will know how to respond should you happen to see anything you perceive as a risk to yourself or our campus.

If you receive or discover a suspicious letter, package, or device:

Do not touch it, tamper with it, or move it! 

Immediately call 6-7777 from a campus phone or 410-516-7777 from a cellphone* or off-campus phone.

*Do not use a cellphone or any radio device within 300 feet of the suspicious object.  

What constitutes a suspicious letter, package, or device?

Some typical characteristics that ought to trigger suspicion include objects that:

  • Have any powdery substance on the outside.
  • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • Have excessive postage, handwritten or poorly typed address, incorrect titles or titles with no name, or misspellings of common words.
  • Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
  • Have no return address or have one that can’t be verified as legitimate.
  • Are of unusual weight, given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Have an unusual amount of tape.
  • Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as “Personal” or “Confidential.”
  • Have strange odors or stains.

What to do if you receive a suspicious letter, package, or device:

  • Handle it with care. Do not shake or bump it.
  • Isolate it immediately.
  • Do not open, smell, touch, or taste it.
  • When in doubt, treat it as suspect. Notify Campus Security or Baltimore Police (911)