Business Services

Mail Safety

Suspicious letters or packages

The information listed below is offered to assist you in determining if a letter or package that you have received should be considered suspicious. The presence of one or more of these items does not in and of itself mean that a letter or package should be considered suspicious. The totality of the circumstances must be taken into consideration, such as:

  • the sender's address is unfamiliar;
  • it is unexpected;
  • the appearance of the package received is inconsistent with the material ordered;
  • it bears a foreign postmark or other foreign markings, is air mail or special delivery;
  • it bears restrictive markings such as confidential, personal, etc., especially if reception of personal mail is against company policy;
  • it displays excessive postage;
  • it displays hand written or poorly typed addresses;
  • it displays titles but no names, or incorrect titles;
  • it contains misspellings of common words;
  • the exterior is stained with oil or other discolorations;
  • there is no return address;
  • the envelope is rigid, lopsided or uneven;
  • there is excessive securing material such as masking tape, string, etc.;
  • or there are visual distractions displayed on the exterior.

Suspicious looking letters, packages, or other received items should not be opened. The item should be isolated, the area cordoned off, and the WWU University Police should be contacted immediately at x3911.

New Requirement for Shipping Packages through WWU Mail Services

WWU Mail Services and Environmental Health and Safety are now requiring a Hazardous Material Shipment Form be attached to every package that contains flammable, perishable, radioactive, biological, explosive or potentially hazardous materials.

All individuals that intend to ship hazardous materials related to any WWU activity must complete a Hazardous Material Shipment eSign Form prior to shipping. This will assist WWU’s compliance with mandatory federal shipping requirements.

Please call Sue Sullivan at x6582 for more information on shipping hazardous materials.