PURPOSE / SCOPE:
Provide guidelines for identifying and handling of suspicious mail.
ICOM employees with responsibility for handling and distributing mail must be familiar with suspicious mail and package indicators and understand the appropriate response when an item is identified as suspicious.
One indicator of a suspicious package or piece of mail includes inappropriate or unusual labeling, such as:
- Excessive postage
- Misspelled common words
- No return address or strange return address
- Unusual addressing, such as not being addressed to a specific person or the use of incorrect titles or titles with no name
- Restrictive markings, such as “personal,” “confidential,” or “do not x-ray”
Other indicators include an unusual or inappropriate appearance, including:
- Powdery substances felt through or appearing on the item
- Oily stains or discolorations on the exterior
- Strange odors
- Excessive packaging material, like tape or string
- Lopsided or bulky shape of envelopes or boxes
- Ticking sounds, protruding wires, or exposed aluminum foil
Procedures for Handling to Suspicious Packages and Mail:
- Stay calm.
- Do not open the letter or package (or open any further), do not shake it, do not show it to others, or empty its contents.
- Leave the letter or package where it is or gently place it on the nearest flat surface.
- If possible, gently cover the letter (use a trash can, article of clothing, etc.).
- Shut off any fans or equipment in the area that may circulate the material.
- Alert others nearby to relocate to an area away from the site of the suspicious item.
- Take essential belongings, like cell phones, keys, purse, etc. with you in case return to your office is delayed.
Contact the ICOM Campus Security immediately at 208-795-4311. Campus Security will evaluate the situation and notify local law enforcement if appropriate.
Leave and close the door to the space containing the suspicious letter or package, cover the threshold area under the door with a towel or a coat if possible, and section off the area (keep others away). To prevent spreading any powder or hazardous substance to your face, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Director of Campus Security