COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - You've likely seen the signs and heard the number. But what goes on behind the scenes at Crimestoppers is a secret, and that's the point.
"It's an anonymous program, which means when you call in and report your information, email your information, text your information and it's scrambled," says Lt. Chris Cowan.
The calls are not tracked, and a server wipes off your number or email address so it can't be traced. The program is statewide, making it easy for the folks who happen upon crime to report it without putting themselves in the line of fire.
If the tip is good there's a payoff, anywhere from $50 to $1,000.
"People ask how they get paid. You get a tracking number when you call in, and you take it to the bank and get paid. We still have no way of knowing who you are, and we don't want to know who you are," says Cowan.
It's a twofold payoff, if you ask police. It's a way to fight back and get some cold cash for a cold case.
Reported by Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield