Crime Stoppers needs your help to continue making our Virgin Islands a safer place to live, work and raise a family. This week we’d like to explain exactly how your tips remain totally anonymous.
Protecting your anonymity is key to the success of the Crime Stoppers program. Using the communication facilities provided by national Crime Stoppers affiliates, we have technology in place which makes it virtually impossible for us, law enforcement, an attorney or anybody else to trace your phone call, text message or web tip back to you.
When you dial 1-800-222-TIPS, the call goes to a private telephone company in Virginia. They transfer your call to one of their own in-house phone lines and then forward it on to our answering service in Texas. Even if one of our Texas operators had caller ID, which they don’t, the only number they would see is from Virginia, not your number.
So if someone were able to get the telephone records of our Texas answering service, the number recorded would be from the service in Virginia. The Virginia company purges all of their transfer records at the end of each month.
Web and Text Tips are handled in a similar fashion. The messages are routed to computers in Canada where it is legal to transfer your message to another computer before forwarding it on to us. Even though we can send messages back and forth, this makes it impossible for anyone to trace a message back to your computer or your cell phone.
Finally, special IRS rules permit all Crime Stoppers rewards to be paid in cash with no tax reporting. One of our volunteers will deliver the cash to you, at a time and place of your choosing, or we will even hide it somewhere for you to pick up later.
Since the original Crime Stoppers organization began service in 1976, there are no known instances where an anonymous citizen’s identity has ever been revealed using Crime Stoppers information.
If you know something, you can safely say something by submitting your information on any crimes at www.CrimeStoppersUSVI.org or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).