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No Proof Mosquito Wristband Actually Works, Feds Say

Feb. 20, 2015
Personal Finance
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This can’t be the kind of buzz they hoped for.

The makers of a wristband that purports to repel mosquitoes didn’t provide any proof that it actually works, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The commission has charged Viatek Consumer Products Group and owner Lou Lentine with making deceptive, unsubstantiated claims about the company’s Mosquito Shield Bands.

This isn’t the first time Viatek has been in trouble with the consumer-protection commission. The charges say that, by selling the wristbands, Viatek violated the terms of a 2003 order barring them from using deceptive marketing techniques.

“The defendants said that their wristbands would protect you from mosquito bites, but their claims weren’t backed up by scientific evidence,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a Friday news release. “Those claims violate the law and a 2003 FTC order against the defendants.”

The bands, which didn’t appear to be available on Viatek’s website Friday, contain mint oil and, according to Viatek’s marketing, create a five-foot “vapor barrier” that protects wearers from mosquito bites for 96-120 hours.

In its complaint, the FTC is seeking money for civil penalties and to provide refunds to customers. It also calls for a permanent injunction against the defendants from violating federal trade laws.

Image via iStock.