Tipsoft - Anonymous Tips to Curb Underage Drinking
Cell phone users in the Greater Old Town area now have the ability to provide tips through the power of anonymous text messaging and online web tips. The Old Town Police Department has teamed up with Public Engines, the industry leader in law enforcement tip management software and web applications, to provide this service which allows citizens to send anonymous tips by sending a text message from a cell phone or submitting a tip online. The funding for this program was provided by the Partnership for a Healthy Northern Penobscot (PHNP), the River Coalition (RC), and the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.
Underage drinking is a serious matter.
Using TipSoft Text Tips, information may be anonymously received and securely replied to with complete confidence. The service was built specifically to allow text messaging informants to remain anonymous by encrypting the text messages and routing them through several secure servers, protecting the personal details of the informant.
TipSoft SMS also allows police to respond by text message to the originating cell phone without ever knowing the identity of the individual who left the tip. The user’s information is always given an alias and a unique ID before being sent. This secure application allows the tipster and the investigator to have two-way dialog while always keeping the user’s identity completely anonymous.
The Old Town Police Department encourages everyone to report information about underage drinking or the sale and distribution of drugs. To send an anonymous tip to the Old Town Police Department via cell phone, a tipster will send a tip to the phone number 274637 (CRIMES). The text needs to start with OTPDTIP with the tip information following.
How do I Text a Tip?
There are three main parts to a text message Tip:
- The Short Code replaces a phone number. Anonymous Tips are sent to 274637, (CRIMES)
- Key Words are used to ensure that the tip is directed to the proper place. The keyword for the Old Town Department is OTPDTIP.
- The Message contains the key word initially and then the actual text message.
Underage party at 1 Main Street, Old Town
with 40 - 50 kids at party" sent to
sent to 274637
The Police can then continue the conversation via text messaging or the web-based application, to ask for specifics about the location of the violation and the people involved, while the tipster's name and telephone number remain completely anonymous.
There is no premium cost for this service.
Standard text messaging rates apply for messages sent and received (if
applicable). Rates can be confirmed with your service provider.
Tipsters can also Submit Anonymous tips via the web
In addition to sending the Old Town Police an anonymous tip from your cell phone, you can also send anonymous tips while you're online. To send an online web tip, go to www.phhnpme.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can the tipster be sure of his or her
A. The technology used to keep tipsters anonymous while sending Text Tips to Police is called Tipsoft. This technology strips the identifying information of the tipster away from the tip so the identity of the tipster remains secret.
A multiple code number approach is used to accomplish this.
The identifying information of the tipster is encrypted and stripped from the tip by an independent Canadian company and assigned a unique code number. The tip is immediately forwarded to Tipsoft's secure server in the
A unique code number assigned to the tipster is sent back to the tipster. The tipster and Police can communicate by texting back and forth. The tipster is anonymous the entire time they are communicating with the officers.
Q. Just How Secure Is Tipsoft?
A. Anytime the tipster accesses the WebTip form, the connection to the Tipsoft server is done through a secure socket which forces 128 bit encryption of the tip information passing through that connection. The identity of these connections are, by design, not being logged by the Tipsoft server. When a tip is submitted, the data is immediately encrypted with an AES 256 bit algorithm.
Tipsoft has taken great measures to insure the WebTip routine is as secure as possible and that the tipster's identity is not traceable. To date, the processes Tipsoft is using have not been compromised and the encryption algorithms used are the same as those used by the banking industry and governments worldwide on a daily basis.
Tipsoft's transaction server is audited daily by ScanAlert, the world's largest and most prominent server security auditing firm and any potential vulnerabilities are immediately flagged and addressed if found. This level of auditing insures compliance with some of the highest levels of security possible. Through ScanAlert, Tipsoft's server is certified Secure & Hacker Safe.