Letter bombs, poison letters, and booby-trapped packages are part of the arsenal of weapons used by terrorists to kill or injure their victims. Sometimes, they are even used by mindless teenagers holding a grudge against someone at school.
To avoid being the victim of such a weapon, there are some things you can do.
Don't accept mail or packages at your residence. That way, if a piece of mail or a package shows up at your door, you know it didn't come through the regular system, and might have been dropped off by someone with ill intent. When you pick up your mail or packages, look for the following telltale suspicious indicators:
- No return address, or a return address from a location different from the postmark. This indicates a package or letter that was mailed from one person to another before being sent to you (a conspiracy of more than one perpetrator trying to hide the trail of evidence).
- Incorrect spelling, awkward use of the language or addressing format, or poor typing of the mailing label.
- Restrictive markings such as "Confidential" or "Personal" on the package. These labels encourage the receiver to open the package immediately.
- Excessive postage indicates an unusual urgency that the sender wants to make sure the package gets to you.
- Unusual odor or oily stains on the package.
- Protruding wires, string, or tin foil might indicate intentionally sloppy workmanship intended to terrorize the receiver, even if the package doesn't contain an actual bomb.
- Unusual size, shape, or weight balance of the letter or package, or if the envelope is rigid.
- Excessive tape or twine to bind the package might indicate that the sender wants to ensure that the package doesn't accidentally come open until you receive it.
- Noise or vibration from inside the package.