The U.S. Postal Service receives a dozen or so reports of letter or package bombs a year and says there are some signs to look for to avoid danger.

A mail bomb can be in either an envelope or parcel, but among the possible tip-offs are these:-Special instructions such as "personal" or "private" or other notations such as "rush" or "fragile" when such an endorsement might be considered unusual.

-An addressee's name misspelled or an incorrect title.

-No return address or one that doesn't coincide with the postmark.

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-Protruding wires, aluminum foil, oil stains or a peculiar odor.

-Envelopes with rigid, lopsided appearance, or poorly wrapped, irregular shaped packages with soft spots or bulges.

-Ticking, buzzing or sloshing sounds.

The U.S. Postal Service advises that if a suspicious letter or package is observed, leave the area and call for assistance.

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