REPOST: How does the BPD ensure my tip is anonymous? Can I collect a cash reward from my crime tip? And other frequently asked questions about Crime Stoppers
Boston Police Department Anonymous Crime Tip Program
Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions
In 2007 the Boston Police Department was the first in the nation to launch the innovative Text a Tip program. This new function revamped the city’s anonymous crime tip hotline by adding the ability for citizens to text message an anonymous tip to police.
How does the program work?
Users type the word “TIP” on their cell phones and send it to CRIME (27463). Follow up questions are typed in the interface and sent directly to the tipsters’ phone via SMS. Text-a-tip is 100% anonymous and there is no way of determining the user’s identity. Crime Stoppers takes the information and sends it to an investigator. Only the investigator sees the tip, it does not go out to the entire police department. The investigator is also unable to receive the tipster’s identity.
Should I use ‘Text a Tip’ in an emergency situation?
No. If you see a crime in progress or need to report an emergency, please call 911. This new crime tip service is for non-emergency investigative information only and will not generate a radio call or summon the police to your location.
How do I ensure my anonymity?
For your safety, you should always delete all text messages to and from “CRIME” (27463) from your inbox and outbox.
Note: The program is available on most, but not all major wireless carriers; therefore we cannot guarantee this program will work for all participants. Although the program is complimentary to participants, standard text messaging rates may apply. Check with your carrier and wireless plan for details.
How do I know my tip is confidential?
The mobile phone address of tipsters’ is concealed from the Boston Police Department via a specially designed mobile messaging application that denies the department the ability to access the tipster’s mobile phone number. Your text-a-tip is completely anonymous to the Boston Police Department and any phone numbers or web addresses are changed to a tip code number before the police (Crime Stoppers) read them. No tipster has ever been identified.
How do I submit a tip via text message?
To text a tip to the Boston Police Department, you must have text messaging enabled on your phone and subscribe to a participating cell phone carrier. To begin your tip session, text the word “TIP” to the number 24763, this spells the word “CRIME” on your phone’s keypad.
While handset menus differ by carrier or model, here are some basic steps on how to compose a test message containing
Find “Messaging” or “SMS” on your phone’s main menu.
1. Create a new text message or send text or SMS text.
2. When composing your message:
-Enter the number 27463 as the mobile # or in the “to” line
- Then, in the message body, type the word TIP
3. Hit “send” to send the message
4. You will receive follow up questions about the tip as well as a tip #
For your safety, after submitting your tip you should always delete all text messages to and from 27463 from your text message inbox and outbox.
What are the hours of operation?
Monday-Friday 8:00 am-12:00 midnight
Saturday 12:00 noon-12:00 midnight
Sunday 12:00 noon-4:00 pm
What types of crime are reported?
The BPD is interested in receiving tips on every type of crime. We believe this new nameless form of submitting tips to Police allows tipsters to assist Crime Stoppers in increasing safety in the neighborhoods in Boston.
Does it cost money to submit a tip?
Although participation in the text-a-tip program is free, standard messaging rates and other fees may apply. Check your mobile plan for more information.
Can I receive a monetary reward?
Yes! When a tipster calls or texts in they are given a tip #, for example 110101. The tip is recorded and sent to an investigator. The tipster would re-contact Crime Stoppers with their tip # and we coordinate with the investigators as to find out whether or not the tip was relevant in the investigation and how significant it was to the detective.
How do I collect my reward?
The tipster is told to call back in a week so we can tell them how much they are being rewarded and a bank location in Boston to pick up their money. When they go to the bank the tipster is to ask for a manager who is told the code number and the tipster is rewarded. We never physically interact with the tipster we only communicate through text message. The tipster remains anonymous through the entire process.