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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

November 19, 2010


Contact: ATF Public Affairs Division

(202) 648-8500

ATF Launces Text-Based Crime Tip Submission System

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information, today announced the launch of a text messaging crime tip submission system. During the course of this six-month pilot program, crime tips can be submitted anonymously by text message to ATF’s Joint Support and Operations Center for review and processing.

The general public will benefit from the easy to use, anonymous system that will allow them to readily relay information from any cell phone. ATF will benefit from an increased flow of real—time intelligence, which will enhance its investigative capabilities and help keep communities safer.

To submit a crime tip, one can begin by texting a message with ATF in the body of the message to the number 274637 (CRIMES).
The initial submission will trigger an auto response from the secure transaction server. The text sender will receive a response, including a unique code number, which must be remembered for encryption and identification purposes. The sender and ATF coordinator may then elect to engage in a secure and encrypted two-way dialog with no additional keywords being required.

The sender can also text STOP to the number 274637 (CRIMES) at anytime to pause the system. This is helpful in situations where you cannot be replied to by ATF. If you do not send STOP to the short code number, messages from that point will not get a reply, but are received by ATF. Any new text messages would require repeating these steps from the beginning, utilizing a new code number generated by the system.

For additional information on ATF’s SMS text messaging capability, please visit For additional information concerning submission of crime tips to ATF, please refer to