Emergency Preparedness
Suspicious Package or Mail
If you see or receive an unexpected letter or package that looks suspicious:
  • Call 911 from campus phone (301-405-3333 from a cellular phone)
  • Call your service desk
  • Do not touch the item or disturb it in any way; do not open, smell or taste it
  • If you inadvertently pick up the item and first become suspicious at that point, carefully set the item down, ideally in an isolated location
  • Call University Police at 911 (or 301-405-3333 from a cellular phone)
  • Stay away from the item, and keep others away from it
When the University of Maryland Police dispatcher answers your call to 911:
  • Identify your specific location
  • Describe the letter or package and explain why it looks suspicious to you
  • Stay on the phone until the dispatcher tells you it’s okay to hang up
  • Move away from the item, wait there, and identify yourself to Police when officers arrive
Signs of a potentially suspicious letter or package:
  • No return address, restrictive marking such as “Personal” or “Special Delivery”
  • Excessive postage, tape or string; possibly mailed from another country
  • Misspelled words, badly typed or written, name doesn’t match address
  • Package or letter is lopsided or uneven, wire protrudes from it
  • Package or letter has strange smell or has oily stains, discoloration or crystallization

All reports of suspicious mail and packages are taken very seriously and are investigated thoroughly.