COLORADO SPRINGS — Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers, a charity based in Colorado Springs, is now backed by an accreditation from the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.
“Much as we accredit businesses through the Better Business Bureau, we also accredit charities – Crime Stoppers recently went through that process,” said Jonathan Liebert, CEO and Executive Director of BBBSC. “Buinesses are vetted on eight different standards of trust, and charities are vetted on 20. Crime Stoppers has gone through this process, they are approved on every single on of those standards, so they are absolutely a charity that you can trust.”
Crime Stoppers provides citizens with a platform by which they can report information on crimes and be anonymous.
“Oftentimes, law enforcement agencies don’t get the information they need, because people are fearful that when they report something there may be vindication,” said Don Addy, Chairman of PPACS. “With Crime Stoppers, there’s never anybody identified, all the information we receive remains anonymous. And then we report, as appropriate, to local law enforcement agencies.”
The BBB accreditation exists as an added layer of protection for consumers against scams, something that’s grown in the era of COVID.
“Right now, beause of the pandemic, we’ve actually seen a rise of about 24% in scams due to COVID. About 85% of those resulted in a loss of money,” said Liebert. “All told, it’s been about $145 million that Americans have lost because of scams related to COVID.”
That number, Liebert explained, is on the rise because scammers thrive on fear and uncertainty, which has come with the territory over the past year.
“Hopefully, we can also help BBB and its customers in reducing the wave of economic crimes that’s occurring today,” Addy said.
PPACS allows individuals to provide anonymous tips in exchange for cash rewards, and operates separately from law enforcement.
Anyone who would like to anonymously report information on a crime can call 719-634-STOP or visit crimestop.net.
“Altogether, it’s really about making sure that we’re taking care of our community,” Liebert said.