Skip to content
Main Menu
Utah Attorney General
Search
Attorney General
Sean D. Reyes
Utah Office of the Attorney General
Alerts
Close
Secondary Navigation

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 28, 2020

Many aspects of our normal lives have moved online, making the need for cybersecurity more important that ever. This month during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), the Utah Attorney General’s Office is urging you to “Do Your Part, #BeCyberSmart”.

The Attorney General’s Office works year-round to protect Utahns online; however, it’s imperative that you do your best to be cyber secure to protect you and your family.

  • Keep your software updated. Keeping your security and software up to date will add an extra layer of protection for your information as they patch security vulnerabilities and help keep hackers out.
  • Don’t click on links or open attachments. Unless you’re expecting to receive a file or document, don’t open it. Don’t click on any links unless you can verify the sender. Scammers can imitate legitimate sites and email addresses, so look for a variation in spelling. Still aren’t sure? You can go to the company’s website to log on to your account or call the number listed on the official site to ask them about the information in the message.
  • Be careful what you download. Even if the PDF looks right, cybercriminals can trick you into downloading malware to try and steal your information. This malware could even be disguised as an app. Don’t download or click on links that may looks suspicious or come from a site you don’t know and trust.
  • Be cautious of messages that urge immediate action. Some scam messages contain a stated time limit for you to respond or take action, such as 24-hours. Scammers want you to feel confused and rushed. Remember, slow down and take your time. Don’t feel like you have to respond immediately, especially since in most cases no response is the safest and best response. If you think you really do have to respond, instead contact the company through a number or email you can verify on their official website and ask if you need to take any action.
  • Don’t follow instructions on unsolicited messages to update, check, or verify your account information. Some scammers send messages saying you need to verify or update your account information and/or payment information. Don’t follow these instructions, click any links or call any numbers provided in the message. Instead, contact the company through a phone number or email you can verify to see if you need to take any action.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have tried to take advantage of the fears and worries surrounding the Coronavirus. Check out the Utah Fraud Squad’s website for more information about current Coronavirus-related scams.

As part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency released some resources to help reduce cybersecurity risks and help you protect yourself online. Check them out here.

During each week of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the FBI is highlighting priority cybersecurity issues. Check out these issues and more cybersecurity tips and resources here.


National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 28, 2020

This month we observe National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and stand with survivors and advocates to raise our voices to support victims and stand together to raise awareness of domestic violence and available resources.

This year, as COVID-19 cases rose, schools closed, workers were furloughed, and stay-at-home orders were implemented. For many, this provided time to be with loved ones and shelter together in a safe environment. However, for some home is not a place of safety and instead they were trapped with their abusers.

Despite an expected increase in calls to the domestic violence hotline following the pandemic, the number of calls actually declined. This does not reflect a decrease in domestic violence cases, but rather an inability for victims to ask for help and connect with resources.

Domestic violence affects every gender, race, age, religion, culture, and socioeconomic background. It can be more than just punches and bruises – it can be yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, threats and isolation.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any type of abuse or intimate partner violence, know that you are not alone, it is not your fault and there is help available to you. Below are some resources available nationally and in Utah:

Hotlines

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) (If LINKLine advocates are experiencing an increased call volume, calls will be forwarded to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.)
  • 24-Hour Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1-888-421-1100

Organizations


Attorney General Reyes Statement on Google Multistate Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Filing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2020

JOINT ATTORNEYS GENERAL STATEMENT ON THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANTITRUST FILING AND THE MULTISTATE INVESTIGATION INTO GOOGLE
 

SALT LAKE CITY — Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. Utah has not joined the Department of Justice lawsuit and is instead studying a separate action with the multistate coalition. 

Attorneys General from the states of Utah, Iowa, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, New York, North Carolina, and Nebraska released the following statement regarding today’s antitrust filing by the U.S. Department of Justice and the multistate investigation into Google: 

“Over the last year, both the DOJ and state attorneys general have conducted separate but parallel investigations into Google’s anticompetitive market behavior. We appreciate the strong bipartisan cooperation among the states and the good working relationship with the DOJ on these serious issues. This is a historic time for both federal and state antitrust authorities, as we work to protect competition and innovation in our technology markets. We plan to conclude parts of our investigation of Google in the coming weeks. If we decide to file a complaint, we would file a motion to consolidate our case with the DOJ’s. We would then litigate the consolidated case cooperatively, much as we did in the Microsoft case.”

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes added the following statement: 
 
“We applaud AG Barr and his team of dedicated DOJ lawyers and legal professionals for their work. We support them and understand why they filed sooner than our multistate case. DOJ began its investigations significantly prior to our multistate efforts so it has always been ahead in terms of timing. Further, our multistate case may address additional issues beyond the scope of the DOJ complaint.”
 
“We have been working closely with DOJ in our investigation, and we appreciate the cooperation and assistance it has given us,” Attorney General Reyes said.  “We anticipate making a decision regarding our own multistate case in the very near future and look forward to continuing to collaborate closely with the DOJ on this and many other matters.”
 

###

Read the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit here.


National Bullying Prevention Month

October 19, 2020

Everyone knows or has known a bully in their lifetime, and the psychological impact affects generations of people. The internet has empowered online bullies and cyberbullies have become a significant problem.  That’s why that as we observe National Bullying Prevention Month, the Utah Attorney General’s office is placing emphasis on preventing cyberbullying.

With more time spent at home away from school, clubs, or in-person social interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, children have more screen time, an increased susceptibility to cyberbullying, and are more likely to participate in cyberbullying their peers.

According to the American Adolescent Psychiatric Association, “stress and mental health conditions may be exacerbated by cyberbullying, particularly among those who have experienced emotional abuse.’

Cyberbullying includes mean text messages or emails, rumors spread through social networking platforms, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.  

In 2017, 15.5% of students were cyberbullied and 20.2% were bullied on school property, according to the Center for Disease Control. In addition, the number of individuals who experienced cyberbullying nearly doubled from 2007 to 2016.

Children who experience bullying can have long-lasting detrimental effects on their mental and physical health, and are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, decreased academic achievement, substance abuse, and suicide.

This month, we encourage you to learn the signs of bullying, encourage children to stand up for those who are being bullied, and teach kindness to one another.

Signs a Child is Being Bullied

  • Declining grades and not wanting to attend school
  • Feelings of helplessness and decreased self esteem
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or increased nightmares
  • Frequent headaches, stomach aches, and frequently feeling sick
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, self-harm, or talk of suicide

Tips for Preventing Bullying

  • Talk to kids about bullying. Talk to your children about what bullying is and that it is totally unacceptable, whether you bully someone in-person or online. Teach them that if they wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t text or post it in anyway.
  • Keep the communication lines open. Make sure your children know they can come talk to you. Listen to them and understand their concerns. Get to know their friends and what goes on during school. If they aren’t comfortable sharing everything with you, make sure they know they can talk to another trusted adult and they have adequate resources if they are struggling.
  • Encourage kids to do what they love. Help your children participate in hobbies, interests and activities that make them happy. Whether it be a club, choir, or youth group, it’s important children have a chance to have fun and be around other children who share their interests. They can make friends who can support and protect them from being bullied.
  • Be an example. Children learn from observing those around them. Make sure you yourself are treating others around you with kindness and respect. Whether you realize it or not, your children are watching how you manage stress and how you treat your friends, colleagues, and family.

Additional Resources


Leader of Drug Trafficking Organization in Utah Sentenced to Life in Prison

October 15, 2020

This morning, the leader of a multi-million dollar drug trafficking organization in Utah was sentenced to life in prison.

Aaron Shamo was previously convicted in 2019 for organizing and directing a drug trafficking organization that imported fentanyl from China to manufacture fake oxycodone pills and counterfeit Xanax tablets out of his home in Utah. Shamo and his co-conspirators shipped hundreds of thousands of these counterfeit drugs across the nation under the name Pharma-Master on the dark web until his arrest in 2016.

“In 2016, Shamo sold one million Fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills to unsuspecting buyers in every state in the union,” Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said. “While the total harm he caused can never be measured, at least ninety of his known customers have died from overdoses. The Court’s sentence today—life imprisonment—brings justice to the families of his deceased customers and everyone else affected by his crimes. The Attorney General’s Office extends its deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased, recognizing that not even a just sentence can restore what was lost. We remain fully engaged in our effort to combat the opioid epidemic by aggressively investigating and prosecuting drug dealers who prey on the addicted.”

Read the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Utah here.


World Mental Health Day

October 10, 2020

Today for World Mental Health Day, we recognize the importance of looking after our mental health and the mental wellbeing of our loved ones in a year fraught with anxiety, depression, and stress.

This year has been incredibly challenging as our daily lives have been altered considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students have had to adjust to an online format for classes, contact with friends and family have been limited, many workers are facing threats to their livelihoods, and the fear associated with spreading COVID to our loved ones has increased as the cases continue to rise. Many are anxious about the future and worry for the economic consequences of the pandemic, while uncounted friends and family members are faced with the grief of losing their loved ones.

If you are struggling during this tumultuous time, it is normal and understandable. You are not alone in your struggles, and it is okay to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed, worried, or distressed.

Below are some tips and advice to help you look out for your mental health and help those who may need some extra support:

  • Stay informed – Listen to the advice and direction from local authorities and health officials, and make sure your information is coming from trusted news sources – not just information you get from unverified social media posts.
  • Keep in touch – Make sure you’re keeping in touch with your friends and loved ones, even if you have to be apart. Check in with them and let them know how you’re doing through online platforms or by phone.
  • Keep up routines – Although the world may be constantly changing around you and affecting your normal schedules, try to keep up with your normal routines. Get up and go to bed at regular times, eat meals regularly, make time for working out, and set aside time to do what you love and enjoy.
  • Minimize screen time – Having a constant flow of news throughout the day can make you anxious or depressed. Take breaks from social media and screens periodically.

If you need some extra emotional support, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Reach out to the lines below if you need to talk to someone:

  • SafeUT – Download the free SafeUT app to message a crisis counselor. Available 24/7.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Available 24/7.
  • Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741. Available 24/7.
  • Intermountain Health Care, free emotional health relief hotline – 833-442-2211. Available 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
  • University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) warm line – 801-587-1055. Available 8am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
  • University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) crisis line – 801-587-3000. Available 24/7.

Mental health is a priority for Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and the Utah Attorney General’s Office. In June 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to designate 988 as the new three-digit suicide hotline, following the dedicated efforts of the Utah Attorney General’s Office and partners. This is an incredible step forward for prioritizing suicide prevention and ensuring the well-being of all Utahns and Americans.  

Additionally, we recognize SafeUT and their dedication to providing mental health resources and crisis intervention for Utah’s students and educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for their efforts and encourage you to download SafeUT for free if you have not previously.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is proud to partner with organizations such as the Jason Foundation, the SafeUT Commission, the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), and Life’s Worth Living Foundation. These organizations help raise awareness of the prevalence of suicide in the State of Utah and provide resources and education on suicide prevention.


Attorney General Reyes, Local Leaders Meet With National Security Advisory Robert O’Brien

October 6, 2020

Today, Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, local leaders, and human trafficking experts joined with National Security Advisor, Ambassador Robert O’Brien to discuss the threat of human trafficking locally, nationally and globally.

Attorney General Reyes and partners in Utah were able to provide NSA Ambassador O’Brien with an update on Utah’s efforts in combatting human trafficking. From legislation, investigations, victim services, and support from local partners, Utah has become a leader in the fight against human trafficking.

In addition, NSA Ambassador O’Brien was able to discuss the initiatives put forth by President Trump to address and combat human trafficking in America. Working together and collaborating on such an extensive and important issue is key to effectively fighting and ending this egregious form of modern-day slavery and violation of human rights.

We are grateful for our federal, state and local partnerships, and we look forward to continuing to work together to eradicate trafficking in Utah and America.

“It was my pleasure to join Attorney General Reyes and share the work President Trump is doing to combat human trafficking. We will continue to bring the full force of the U.S. government to combat these heinous crimes,” said NSA Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien

Ambassador O’Brien and Attorney General Reyes were joined by Special Assistant to the President Deputy Director of Political Affairs for Policy and Personnel Gregory Smith, Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the NSA and National Security Council Alex Gray, Senator Wayne Harper, Doterra International Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Impact Missy Larsen, President and CEO of Malouf, Inc Sam Malouf, Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard, Refugee & Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah Trafficking in Persons Program Director Andrea Sherman, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Jake Petersen, Attorney General’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Brian Tarbet,  NAACP President Jeanetta Williams, Attorney General’s Office Investigations Section Chief Brendan Call, Attorney General’s Office Assistant Attorney General Dan Strong, and staff.


Attorney General Reyes Awarded DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal for Work on Human Trafficking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL REYES AWARDED DAR DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN MEDAL FOR WORK ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes was pleased and honored to receive the Daughters of the American Revolution Distinguished Citizen Medal for his honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism to the community. The award is due to Attorney General Reyes’ work on human trafficking, and increasing awareness of the crimes associated with human trafficking around the world.
 
“When I think about the people you’ve chosen in the past to bestow the award upon, I’m in awe that I would be recognized in the same category as those heroes – front line first responders, firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, military servicemen and women, veterans, and citizens who have accomplished acts of great distinction,” Attorney General Reyes said. “It’s a singular privilege to accept this award and it’s even more meaningful to get it from an organization that I admire so much. Thank you to my wife, my staff, our partners and many others for their support and countless hours and dedication in rescuing those in need.”
 
The DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal is presented to citizens who demonstrate exceptional service to the community. The Wasatch Range Chapter of DAR nominated Attorney General Reyes for this award to recognize his leadership in the fight against human trafficking.
 
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. DAR members are committed to volunteer service having served more than 12.5 million hours in communities throughout the world during the past three years.

###

Watch the ceremony below:


Attorney General Reyes Urges Creative Community to Protect Young Viewers from Tobacco Imagery

October 5, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today joined a coalition of a total of 43 attorneys general in urging the creative community to take action to protect young viewers from tobacco imagery in streamed movies and programs. The California and Nebraska-led coalition directed letters to five creative guilds as part of an ongoing effort to reduce youth exposure to tobacco. Last year, a coalition of 43 attorneys general sent letters urging the streaming industry to limit tobacco imagery in their video content. The creative guilds’ assistance and support is critical to stopping the renormalization and glamorization of tobacco use, especially youth vaping.

Tobacco is the number one preventable killer in the United States, with over 480,000 Americans dying from tobacco-related diseases every year. A growing body of evidence indicates that vaping can permanently damage lungs and lead to a lifetime of tobacco and nicotine use.

In the race to launch new platforms, provide more content, and capture audiences, many streaming companies failed to consider the impact that easy access to movies and programs with tobacco imagery would have on children. In 2012, following a decade of studies, the Surgeon General concluded that “[t]here is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people.” More recently, a study by the Truth Initiative found that children who watch episodic programs with tobacco content are significantly more likely to begin vaping than those who are not exposed to such content. Even those with low levels of exposure were more than twice as likely to start using e-cigarettes, and those with high exposure were over three times more likely. 

In today’s letters, the bipartisan coalition urges Hollywood’s creative guilds to use their collective influence to persuade members of the creative community to depict tobacco imagery more responsibly and to encourage streaming companies to:

  • Adopt best practices that steer young viewers away from content with tobacco imagery, including excluding tobacco imagery in future content targeting children;
  • Only recommend and promote tobacco-free titles for children and families; 
  • Mitigate the historic and cumulative impact of watching tobacco imagery by running strong anti-tobacco spots, especially before content with smoking or vaping;
  • Display prominent and forceful tobacco warnings before content with tobacco imagery; and
  • Offer effective parental controls, so families may be empowered to choose smoke-free content.

Attorney General Reyes joins the attorneys general of Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin in sending the letters.

A copy of the letter to the Directors Guild of America can be read here.

A copy of the letter to the Producers Guild of America can be read here.

A copy of the letter to the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists can be read here.

A copy of the letter to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees can be read here.

A copy of the letter to the Writers Guild of America-East here.

A copy of the letter to the Writers Guild of America-West here.


2021 Legislative Internships Now Open

October 2, 2020

Our Legislative Internships are now open for applications!

The Legislative Internship will take place during Utah’s 2021 Legislative Session (seven weeks in January through March) at the Utah State Capitol. Interns will assist the Attorney General’s Office in monitoring, researching, and reporting on legislation important to our office.

Interns will meet personally with legislators and will be intimately involved in the lawmaking process. Due to the extensive hours and importance of this work, interns should be willing to work hard and have a desire to make a difference. Duties include:

  • Attending, taking notes on, and reporting on committee meetings and floor time
  • Assisting our legislative liaisons
  • Bill and policy research
  • Tracking bills
  • Other duties as assigned

The application deadline is October 30, 2020. For more information and the application, visit attorneygeneral.utah.gov/careers/internships.


Site SettingsSettings