AG Reyes Encourages Utahns to Fight Identity Theft, Online Exploitation During National Crime Prevention Month
SALT LAKE CITY October 2, 2017 – During National Crime Prevention Month, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes urged Utahns to educate themselves about affinity fraud, identity theft, and other forms of white-collar crime, especially those who are vulnerable to predators. With the recent data breach at Equifax, it is especially critical that Utahns take steps to protect themselves.
“While the Utah Attorney General’s Office fights crime every day—from human trafficking, drug smuggling, Ponzi schemes and public corruption to cyberattacks, identify theft and child predation on the Internet—we would like to highlight the danger of these latter threats as we focus on crime prevention this month,” said Attorney General Reyes. “We also want to raise awareness of resources to empower Utahns to protect themselves and ones they love.
“The Utah AGO has prioritized the protection of businesses and consumers. With the massive data breach at Equifax, it is critical to the protection of consumers that they take steps to guard their credit and identity. Please take measures to monitor your credit, shield your identity from cybercriminals, shred old documents, and conduct research before you invest.
“Additionally, parents should take further precautions to assure their children under the age of 18 are protected, both against identity theft and from dangerous online predators who will not hesitate to exploit children. Kids are often targeted so criminals can use their information to create fake IDs, open credit card accounts, take out loans years before anyone ever thinks to run a credit check on the children. The best tool for stopping this shadowy crime is prevention, including the Utah Child Identity Protection tool.
“Last, parents and caregivers should be vigilant about children’s online activities. The Utah Attorney General’s site offers many Internet safety resources to assist parents and caregivers as they fight online predators. These perpetrators may use the Internet to share inappropriate images or content with our kids, they may ‘sextort’ children by threatening them with release of embarrassing photos or information or they may entice young people to meet them for activities that put our youth at great risk of abuse or other harm. Proactive parents can greatly reduce the risk of harm to their children.”
The Office of the Attorney General recommends a few of the many online resources to consumers.
- Federal Trade Commission, Identity Theft page: https://identitytheft.gov/
- What if information is lost or stolen? https://identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen
- Utah Child Identity Protection: https://cip.utah.gov/cip/SessionInit.action
WCCOR: Created in 2016, the White Collar Crime Offender Registry allows investors to check out those who bring investment opportunities.
- Internet safety resources for parents: https://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/victim-advocacy/resources-for-parents
- Supporting local community and neighborhood watch groups is another effective method in creating safer neighborhoods. You can find out more about your local community watch through Unified Police or local police department.