Receiving a letter threatening some sort of harm to you or a loved one can instill panic. If you receive a threatening letter in the mail, immediately contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Depending on the nature of the threat, you may also wish to contact your local police department. Postal investigators work with other law enforcement authorities to solve mail-related crimes.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the police force of the U.S. Postal Service. If you receive a letter from someone attempting to extort money from you, threatening you with physical harm or kidnapping, or threatening your reputation or property, the investigation falls under USPIS' purview. Because these threats were sent through the U.S. mail, they are federal crimes and USPIS investigators are federal law enforcement agents. These agents have the authority to make arrests without warrants for mail-related felonies, if they witness the act or have reason to believe a person committed the crime. Call the USPIS at 1-877-876-2455, or visit the USPIS website to find the nearest office where you may file a complaint in person.
Call the Hotline
The USPS Office of Inspector General's hotline number for reporting theft, fraud or misconduct is 1-888-877-7644. The OIG phone line is appropriate for reporting financial crimes conducted via mail, as well as mail-related narcotics and computer crimes, employee misconduct and fraud.
A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt writes regularly for various legal blogs. Her work has appeared in LegalZoom, USA Today and many other publications.