More Tipsters Are Ratting Out Crooks—for a Price

Police attribute rise to sinking economy
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2008 4:41 PM CDT
More Tipsters Are Ratting Out Crooks—for a Price
Officers usually meet tipsters at a chosen location in an unmarked vehicle to give them their reward.    (Shutterstock)

Tipsters are flooding cops with calls these days, but not to fight crime: They just want to bank a few extra bucks. Crime Stoppers hotlines are getting up to 44% more calls, many from tipsters who want their money quick. Gone are the days when people called because they "were just sick of the crime," one officer told the New York Times.

Better advertising and tech advances—like letting tipsters text in messages—have also prompted the tip spike. But with programs paying between $50 and $1,000 per tip, today's economy is the biggest incentive. Police say some tipsters even make a living by ratting out crooks in bad areas. The only problem? It can lead to poor information. (More crime stories.)

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