US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep CBP.gov current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

U.S. Border Patrol's Spokane Sector Launches Text Messaging and Web Tip Service

Release Date: 
June 3, 2010

Spokane, Wash. - For the first time ever, mobile phone and internet users now have the ability to provide anonymous tips to the U.S. Border Patrol's Spokane, Wash., Sector through the power of text messaging and web tips.

The Spokane Sector Border Patrol and Anderson Software, the industry leader in law enforcement tip management software and web applications, have joined together to provide this service, which allows citizens to help combat cross-border crime and smuggling by sending an anonymous text message from a mobile phone or online.

"The popularity of text messaging has created a significant opportunity for the public to assist the Border Patrol in combating cross-border crime and smuggling," said Spokane Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Tim York. "The ability for any citizen who owns a mobile phone to assist in accomplishing our mission of securing America's borders is of great importance and we are excited to play a pivotal role in the transmission of these crime fighting tips."

TipSoft Text Tips 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. The service also allows law enforcement to respond to the tipster without ever knowing the identity of the individual who left the tip. The user's information always is given an alias and a unique ID before being sent. This secure application allows the tipster and law enforcement to have a two-way dialog while always keeping the user's identity completely anonymous.

Community residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by sending a text message to "BORDERTIP" plus the tip to CRIMES (274637). Citizens can also submit tips through the Online WebTips Web site. Tipsters will remain anonymous and cash rewards leading to an arrest or seizure may be offered.

TipSoft is currently used by NYPD, LAPD, Chicago Police Department, New Scotland Yard and across Canada. Additional information on TipSoft Text Tips can be found on the TipSoft Web site.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. For additional information, please refer to www.cbp.gov.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017