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Iowa State Daily

Fraud cases continue to rise, ISUPD March activity report shows


Forgery and fraud cases are up 700% from March 2023, according to the Iowa State University Police Department’s (ISUPD) March activity report

Online fraud scams are increasing nationwide, and Ames is no exception. The Iowa State Daily published an article that highlights the phishing scams students tend to see more often. 

ISUPD Chief Michael Newton advises everyone to be hyper-vigilant when it comes to suspicious emails or messages. From his experience, he notes the email addresses in which suspicious messages are sent typically have errors. 

Traffic stops saw a decrease of 42.9% despite the grant the department received from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. Newton said this decrease is due to focus on other cases. 

“We’re down a little bit, but overall, we’re still hovering close to where we were last year,” Newton said. 

Theft cases are down 70.6%. Newton said he hopes this decrease can be attributed to the continued education effort toward anti-theft tactics. 

Mental health calls for service were down, according to Newton and according to the report, the number of welfare checks decreased by 11. 

“I hope that means that people are getting the help that they need and finding the resources that they need,” Newton said. “April tends to be higher because of the stress associated with exams and the end of the school year, so we are going to focus coming up here in May on mental health and mental health awareness.”

Looking into the future, the department is focusing on mental health training throughout the upcoming months. Alongside that piece, officers are gearing up for summer, when they will do their qualifications and firearm training. 


March statistics: 

Assault: 1 (50% decrease)

Sexual assault: 0 

Harassment: 6 (100% increase)

Interference with official acts: 1

Trespassing: 1 (75% decrease)

Extortion/forgery/fraud: 8 (700% increase)

Burglary: 3 (200% increase)

Theft: 5 (70.6% decrease)

Auto theft: 0

Criminal mischief/vandalism: 9 (25% decrease)

Drug violations: 6 (53.8% decrease)

Alcohol violations: 8 (14.3% increase)

Weapons violations: 1

OWI: 5 (66.7% decrease)

Traffic/accidents: 25 (43.2% decrease)

Traffic stops: 351 (42.9% decrease)

New reports: 109 (12.8% decrease)

Calls for service: 3,059 (1.8% decrease)

Outreach events: 30 (26.8% decrease)

Number of arrests: 30 (41.2% decrease)

Number of charges filed: 47 (41.3% decrease)

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