|Question #1||What are the various components of a text message used in the tip submission process to Crime Stoppers? |
|Answer:||There are three main parts to a text message. |
1) The Short Code:– This is the actual number the tip is sent to rather than a phone number. It is CRIMES (274637). This is a vanity code which the public will hopefully find memorable. The public can just select the letters CRIMES from their keypads and 274637 is entered.
2) The Keyword: – Keywords are always used with Common Short Codes to allow for proper routing. These are used to ensure that the tip is directed to the right area. When a keyword is needed, it is always entered as the first word in the body of the message. A tipster only needs to include the keyword on our SMS tips the very first time they submit a tip. After that, the system is intelligent enough to know where to route all subsequent traffic from that device.
3) The Message Body: This section contains the keyword initially, and then the actual text of the message.
For Example: ttttips: I know about a marijuana grow operation at 123 main street.
|Question #2||So how does the process actually work? What are the steps, etc? |
|Answer:||1. A tipster sends his or her first message, which is encrypted and includes a keyword. They text "ttttips" plus their message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers then responds with a confirmation and a unique code number. |
2. The tipster may then respond back to Crime Stoppers message simply by replying. No keyword or area ID or any other identifier is needed for any subsequent replies. Newly initiated messages by the tipster that are not straight replies to Crime Stoppers may simply be sent to CRIMES, with no keyword needed.
|Question #3||What types of things can I report? |
|Answer:||We encourage tipsters to report information about any non-urgent illegal activity, such as unsolved cases, vandalism, theft and especially the sale and distribution of drugs. |
|Question #4||Can I attach a picture? |
|Answer:||No, the Crime Stoppers text-message program only accepts text, and is not equipped to receive Multimedia Messages (MMS) of any kind (photo or sound clips). |
|Question #5||I hear that special jargon is sometimes used in text messages. How will we decipher it? |
|Answer:||Yes, texters often abbreviate words and phrases with a language of their own. Like LOL for "laugh out loud" or BRB for "be right back". It is not that difficult to pick up on and we will be publishing a cheat sheet with the most popular abbreviations they use. |
|Question #6||Is there any cost for this service? |
|Answer:||No, there is no premium cost for this service. Standard text messaging rates apply for messages sent and received (if applicable). These rates can be confirmed with your service provider. |
|Question #7||How do I know that Crime Stoppers will not know who I am? |
|Answer:||Crime Stoppers goes to great lengths to protect the anonymity of its tipsters. Tips received via text message are routed and encrypted through many secure servers. The tipster's information is always aliased and given a unique ID before being sent to Crime Stoppers. |
|Question #8||What are Crime Stoppers expectations for this program? |
|Answer:||Crime Stoppers had become an enormously successful crime fighting tool. Our hope is that Canadians will take advantage of text messaging as an alternative to the already successful phone and Internet tipping methods. |
|Question #9||Can I receive a monetary reward for my tips? How does this work? |
|Answer:||All tips qualify for a monetary award if they lead to an arrest. When a tip is given to Crime Stoppers, the tipster is provided with a unique, confidential code number and/or word to check back with Crime Stoppers about the status of the tip. Tipsters will not be required to give his or her name or identify themselves if a reward is due. |
|Question #10||What if someone tips from my phone? |
|Answer:||If someone tips from your phone, keep in mind that the tip will be completely confidential. Text tips are processed through an encrypted server and the Crime Stoppers Program will not be able to know where the call originated or whose phone was utilized. |
To view a demonstration of How to Text Tip please go to: www.smscrimestips.com