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

Utah Attorney General’s Office Delivers PPE to Over 100 Agencies in Utah

May 21, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah Attorney General’s Office has partnered with a number of local businesses to collect and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to rescue and law enforcement agencies who were running out.

Together, PPE was secured and distributed statewide when PPE was not readily available to first responders. There was a huge need based on the scarcity of PPE and the desire to help keep law enforcement agencies and other first responders safe.

So far, PPE has been delivered to over 100 law enforcement agencies and Children’s Justice Centers statewide. This has included:

  • 14,300 N95 masks
  • 500 KN90 masks
  • 1,200 bottles of hand sanitizer
  • 4,100 gloves

Over 200 hours and nearly 10,000 miles have been driven by Attorney General’s Office agents delivering PPE statewide.

Utah Fraud Squad: Watch Out for Stimulus Package Scams

April 15, 2020

Today, the Utah Department of Commerce launched a new website aimed at informing Utahns of the latest COVID-19 scams, such as scams involving the federal stimulus package. View the Utah Fraud Squad website here.

Starting this week, most Utahns will receive money as the result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package providing emergency assistance to the American people, businesses and health care providers amid the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The package includes a one-time direct cash payment to individuals and families across the country to help them financially weather this crisis.

Unfortunately, the bill’s passage has opened up a brand-new opportunity for scammers to take advantage of vulnerable people during an emergency situation.

Taxpayers should be advised that the Internal Revenue Service will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. There are no fees or charges associated with receiving the payment. No one from the federal government will call, email or text message you and ask for your Social Security number, bank account information or credit card number. Anyone who does this is a scammer.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the checks will be sent out for people who have been working and paying taxes since 2018.  Anyone calling and telling you they can get the check to you sooner is a scammer. We advise you to not answer calls, emails or text messages from phone numbers or email addresses you do not know. Do not click on links from unsolicited emails or text messages. If you do answer a phone call and realize it is not someone you know, just hang up.

The Treasury Department plans to run a public awareness campaign for those who have not filed a tax return for either 2018 or 2019. Information will be posted as it becomes available online on www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

Stay aware of the latest scams by visiting the Utah Department of Commerce Utah Fraud Squad website.

To report scams, call the Utah Division of Consumer protection at 801-530-6601 or 1-800-721-7233, or visit them online at: consumerprotection.utah.gov.

Read the Department of Commerce press release regarding the Utah Fraud Squad website here.

Utah Resources for Mental Health and Substance Abuse During COVID-19

April 15, 2020

We recognize that during the COVID-19 pandemic these are difficult times for many people, especially those struggling with substance abuse or mental health. Below are some resources available for individuals, providers, and communities.

Look After Your Mental Health

The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health provided some helpful tips on ways that you can look after you and your mental health:

  1.   Seek information from legitimate sources and set limits around media exposure
  2.   Take care of yourself (Airplane Rules: Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others)
  3.   Safely reach out to others and support people around you
  4.   Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking; read something good and uplifting
  5.   Acknowledge your feelings, bounce them off a friend or loved one
  6.   Take time to talk to children about COVID-19
  7.   Ask for support, including professional support if needed. Asking for help is a sign of strength; none of us can do this alone.

Read more tips from them on how to manage stress here.

Guidance for Prescribers About Providing Telemedicine

SAMHSA and DEA released updated guidance for prescribers about providing telemedicine to new patients for buprenorphine. Click Buprenophone-Telemedicine for more information. If you would like to know overall information on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s guidelines, please click on Use of Telemedicine While Providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) here at MAT Guidelines.

SAMHSA Updates and Resources for Opioid Treatment Programs

The COVID-19 guidance includes approaches for providing pharmacotherapy for opioids use disorder patients exposed to infections and COVID-19, disaster planning, potential flexibility for take-home medication, OTP guidance for patients quarantined at home with the coronavirus, and Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ for OTP Guidance during Quarantine.

Learn more about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) COVID-19 Guidance for Opioid Treatment Programs here and for overall information about Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health, please visit: SAMHSA Home Page.

Safely Dispose of Your Unwanted Medications

The National Take-Back Initiative where you can safely dispose of your unwanted, unused medications was planned for April 25, 2020, but has been postponed until further notice. If you are in need of disposing of unused, unwanted or expired medication, the Utah Opioid Task Force has free Dispose RX packets they can send to you.

Community Resources

Please check in on your loved ones and be aware of signs of poor mental health and emotional well-being. It’s important we have these types of resources readily available during these times. If a loved one needs substance use treatment, please access: https://findtreatment.gov/

Here are some other important phone numbers to have and share with your friends, family, and community: 

  • COVID-19 Hotline 1-800-456-7707
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • UNI WarmLine: 801-587-1055
  • Domestic Abuse Hotline:  1-800-799-7233
  • Utah Naloxone 385- 495-9050

If you need Peer Recovery Support and Family Support, USARA is functioning with an online presence at www.myusara.com.

SafeUT Remains Active for Students

The mental well-being of our youth is critical during these times. The SafeUT app is a real-time crisis intervention tool and tip line for students. This resource is fully functioning during current circumstances and can be downloaded here: https://healthcare.utah.edu/uni/safe-ut.

You are not alone during these trying times. We are in this together.

Online Safety Tips During COVID-19 Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2020

UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE OFFERS ONLINE SAFETY TIPS
Parents and Children Should Keep Safety in Mind During COVID-19 Crisis

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Attorney General’s Office is offering tips to everyone who is concerned about online safety during the COVID-19 crisis. As schools closed and moved to an online setting, children are accessing the internet even more than normal. In addition to online classrooms, children are using the internet on phones, tablets, and gaming platforms to keep in touch with friends as communities adjust to staying indoors. While convenient for connecting with friends and family, these devices are also pathways for predators to reach our children. These predators are aware of the fact that children are spending more time online and unfortunately, may try to exploit that. Below are some items to raise your awareness of internet safety and provide tips on how you can protect your children: 

  • Talk to your children about being safe when using the internet.  Keeping an open dialogue with your children will help them know that they can come to you for help if they have a problem online. Teach them about using the internet safely and help them learn what to look out for when it comes to cyberbullying, predators, and suspicious activity.
  • Educate yourself.  The first step to helping your children practice internet safety is understanding it yourself first. Get to know how online and phone apps and online schooling work. Always keep you and your security software up to date.
  • Be aware of online activity.  Predators can gain access to kids through online chats, through popular apps, and through gaming networks. Keep internet-accessible devices in a high-trafficked area such as the living room. Find out what apps your children use the most and learn how they work. Consider using parental controls on your children’s devices to help filter or block certain content online.
  • Set boundaries.  Talk to your children about what they should not post, such as personal photos, their location, and personal information about them. Consider creating an online safety agreement together so you can both agree on ways that personal devices and technology can be used, and how to use it safely.
  • Always use security and a secure internet connection.  Make sure all online accounts are set to private and always use secure passwords on those accounts. Make sure your security software is up to date and that you are using a secure internet connection.
  • Look out for changes in your children’s behavior.  Below are several examples of behavioral changes that you should look out for in your children. If your child exhibits these behaviors, it could be an indicator of abuse or grooming by a predator.
    • Being secretive about sites they visit or who they are talking to online.
    • Clicking off the page they’re viewing when a parent enters the room.
    • Being online constantly and not being able to get off.
    • Pulling away from friends and family.
    • Using behavior or sexual language that is not appropriate for their age.
    • Possessing new items or gifts.
    • Volatile emotions, such as jumping from highs and lows within a matter of seconds.
  • Be aware of apps that can hide other apps. There are a number of apps that allow you to hide content or apps from parents. One such app conceals another app behind a calculator interface.
  • Know who your children are talking to online or on the phone.  Make sure you know who is on their friend list online and who they talk to on the phone, through messaging apps, texting, and online chat forums. Make sure they know that if they are uncomfortable with someone who is messaging them, they can come to you for help.

“The online risk for kids has multiplied now that they’re at home and on computers for school instruction,” Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said. “I realize some homes have five or six kids online at the same time. It’s going to take extra vigilance when parents are already stressed out, but it needs to be done. I urge everyone to look at the tips our office is sending out. Don’t hesitate to report suspicious activity. This is all part of staying healthy and safe as a family at this difficult time.”

“While gaming and social media can be safe and fun diversions with proper supervision, parents need to be aware and proactive about their children online,” Attorney General Reyes added. “Young people are often exposed to mature content without even seeking it out. And many serious crimes victimizing children start with predators on the Internet.”

For more information and tips, visit Common Sense Media and Respons-ability.net.

###

Utah AG’s Office Distributes Donated PPE to Law Enforcement in a Private/Public Partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2020

UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE TO HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT BY DISTRIBUTING PROTECTIVE GEAR DONATIONS OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) IN A PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP


The Utah Attorney General’s Office is partnering with a growing list of private companies to collect and distribute masks, gloves, hand sanitizer etc. to rescue and law enforcement agencies who are running out. Most of those receiving the masks are in rural communities in northern, central and southern Utah.
 
The Attorney General’s Office has already distributed more than 1,000 masks donated by PC Laptops. Sherwin Williams delivered 2,500 items for distribution this morning.
 
This effort will not take away from those who are working to provide PPE to health care professionals who are also in critical need of these items at this time. CDC guidelines to law enforcement personnel call for a minimum use of PPE whenever possible and necessary. The need for this equipment for law enforcement is running critically low in Utah.
 
So far, the local companies (which include PC Laptops, Sherwin Williams and more in progress) are donating the masks, gloves, face shields, hand sanitizer, gowns, etc. that have they have acquired. The Attorney General’s Office will distribute those items as they become available.
 
“We all realize the need for hospitals to get masks and supplies. And while we all work together to get that done, our first responders are answering emergency calls and keeping our communities safe. We owe it to them to provide some protection in the line of duty,” said Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes.
 
“It’s wonderful to see fire and police chiefs, sheriffs and EMT leaders rally together so quickly in such crisis conditions,” Attorney General Reyes added. “We are trying to speed up the process of collection and distribution. And the Attorney General’s Office is proud to play a role in coordinating that effort. Again, I want to emphasize our efforts to ensure hospitals and medical personnel get what they need on the front lines of this pandemic while we support our other first responders.”
 
Attorney General Reyes also expressed gratitude to the donors. “A big thanks to Dan Young and his team for their generous donations and dedication to get this equipment to responders around the state. We’re also working with other businesses like Sherman Williams and private donors who are generously providing masks and supplies for hospitals and responders in Utah.”
 
The Attorney General’s Office has been distributing the PPE this week.
 
Additional donations are expected, as this is will be an on-going effort. We will provide notification as that happens. 

###

Attorney General Reyes Announces Partnership to Monitor and Combat Coronavirus Price Gouging

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL REYES ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP TO MONITOR AND COMBAT CORONAVIRUS PRICE GOUGING
KSL Classifieds, Amazon, eBay, Facebook Agree to Partner with Utah


SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes and online marketplaces KSL Classifieds, Amazon, eBay and Facebook are announcing a partnership aimed at monitoring and combating price gouging related to COVID-19. The Attorney General’s Office will partner with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection and representatives from KSL Classifieds, Amazon, eBay and Facebook to communicate regularly about consumer complaints and potential price gouging by third-party sellers on their online marketplaces. The companies will also provide market analysis and other aid to help identify individuals who are using the online marketplaces in Utah to spike prices on COVID-19-related items. 
 
“We appreciate the proactive approach of KSL Classifieds, Amazon, Facebook and eBay during this crisis,” said Attorney General Reyes. “They came to us with possible price gouging offenders early in this pandemic. We have asked online companies to be vigilant about this issue and want to acknowledge those companies who have answered the call.”
 
“We are proud to announce a partnership with these companies to protect all Utah citizens from fraud and price gouging. Combating the virus, while ensuring that our people are safe and protected, is a total team effort,” said Attorney General Reyes. “With this partnership, those who engage in price gouging or scams should be warned that the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Consumer Protection are working with online marketplaces and will take action wherever possible to protect Utahns.”
 
“We take any kind of price gouging or potentially illegal activity very seriously on our marketplace,” said Eric Bright, Chief Marketing Officer of KSL Classifieds. “We’re constantly monitoring for suspicious activity and are proud to cooperate with the Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Protection on egregious cases.”
 
With this partnership:

  • The lines of communication have been opened, and the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Consumer Protection will send consumer complaints related to online marketplace sellers in Utah directly to KSL Classifieds, Amazon, eBay and Facebook for them to further investigate.
  • KSL Classifieds, Amazon, eBay and Facebook are currently analyzing sales data to identify any bad actors in Utah who are trying to profiteer off the health and safety of Utah citizens. The companies will be sharing that information with the Division of Consumer Protection and the Utah Attorney General’s Office for potential legal action.

The companies have also proactively provided information to the Division of Consumer Protection about their current efforts to combat price gouging and profiteering on their site. While these online marketplaces do sell some products directly to the consumers, they also provide a forum for third-party sellers to sell products. There are certainly price fluctuations in times of crisis, and the vast majority of these sellers provide convenient and affordable products. But as with any third-party seller forum, there are isolated incidents where some try to profit off the fear and uncertainty that come with times of crisis. 

KSL Classifieds, Amazon, eBay and Facebook already have 24/7 monitoring measures in place to combat and remediate these situations, but in light of the coronavirus pandemic, they have enhanced their systems by including additional manual measures, pulling down products that are out of line, and suspending the accounts of those who are exhibiting repeated bad behavior.

As a result, KSL Classifieds, Amazon, eBay and Facebook together have removed hundreds of thousands of high-priced offers on in-demand supplies from its stores and millions of products that make unsupported claims about COVID-19. They have also suspended thousands of accounts of sellers who have engaged in price gouging.

Attorney General Reyes recently sent several consumer alerts relating to COVID-19 scams and medical supply chain price gouging.

Our friends at The Utah Division of Consumer Protection are on the front in this situation. The Utah Attorney General’s Office thanks them for their hard work on both price gouging and scams. They are working hard to investigate complaints. If you notice incidents of price gouging, please call their office at 801-530-6601 or 1-800-721-7233, or visit them online at consumerprotection.utah.gov.

###

Attorney General Reyes Shares Update on Coronavirus from U.S. Surgeon General

March 19, 2020

Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes received updates from United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams about ways to combat and contain the Coronavirus, including mitigation. The information came on a bi-partisan teleconference arranged by the White House.

“I want you to have the very latest up-to-date information,” Attorney General Reyes said.  “Addressing this pandemic is not a partisan issue and the following information is the best we can provide.”

Since information is changing rapidly, Attorney General Reyes encourages the public to utilize the links provided below.

Agencies like the CDC and HHS provide information on those links in real-time. Please utilize them for yourselves, your family and loved ones.

It is important to note that currently, the risk to the average Utahn remains low, however, prevention is essential.  All agencies are working aggressively to monitor this continuously evolving situation and to keep our partners and the public informed.   

Up-To-Date Information

What You Need To Know

Attorney General Reyes Warns Utahns on Fraud and Price Gouging During Virus Emergency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2020


FRAUD AND PRICE GOUGING DURING VIRUS EMERGENCY
Attorney General Reyes: “I Want Citizens and Consumers to be Protected.”
 

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes continues to alert both consumers and merchants of scams and price gouging which are a serious, potential threat to the health and well-being of citizens in the State of Utah.
 
Scams
Right now, health threats from the coronavirus are affecting people’s physical, mental and behavioral well-being and are the most pressing concerns. While we are focused on those emergencies, predators will try to take advantage of people’s uncertainties and fears.
 
“Our office is receiving questions and concerns about phone calls, emails and websites that are potentially frauds or scams,” Attorney General Reyes said. “As Utahns, we are known for generosity when it comes to donating and supporting others in emergencies. We also tend to be very trusting. Both are great qualities that can be potentially exploited during emergencies.” 
 
“Scams and fraud proliferate during natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina,” Reyes continued. “The Utah Attorney General’s Office and Utah Division of Consumer Protection continually work together to investigate and prosecute these types of cases.”
 
Scams may come in the form of requests for charities that don’t exist or donations to causes that sound real but are not.

  • Simply because someone calls you and uses the name of a recognized charity doesn’t mean they are legitimate. If someone contacts you asking for money or your personal information, you can always hang up and call the business or entity back at a number that you can confirm.
  • No government agency will call you for payment over the phone or by wire. Before you send any money to help others, particularly via wire, cash or on a debit card, please check with a trusted advisor or contact the Division of Consumer Protection or Attorney General’s Office. 

Price Gouging
The Utah Attorney General’s Office and Division of Consumer Protection are becoming aware of several allegations of price gouging due to the temporary shortage of certain consumer items in stores. Unlike some states, our legislature passed laws to outlaw this conduct during emergencies. The Governor has now declared a state of emergency so our anti-gouging laws are in effect and penalties can be enforced.
 
Remember, excessive price inflation during emergencies is against the law. (Utah Code 13-41-101-202, Price Controls Under Emergencies Act). 
 
We hope this warning gives offenders a chance to do the right thing and stop the exploitation,” Attorney General Reyes said. “But if they don’t, they are in danger of state enforcement. Taking advantage of this tragedy for the sake of profit is NOT acceptable.”
 
Attorney General Reyes points out that some mark-ups will in fact reflect the scarcity of items and is acceptable under the statute.
 
Items like baby formula or medicine, toilet paper, bottled water, batteries, hand sanitizer filtering masks, etc. are among the items that can be typically marked up. Sellers should review the statute with their legal counsel if they have any questions.
 
We are working with our friends at the Division of Consumer Protection on both price gouging and scams, and they are working hard to investigate complaints.
 
If you notice incidents of price gouging, please call their office 801-530-6601 or 1-800-721-7233, or visit them online at consumerprotection.utah.gov.
 
If you suspect criminal fraud has occurred, you may also reach out to the Attorney General’s Office at 801-366-0260.
 

###

Site SettingsSettings