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Feds charge company with deceptively marketing mosquito repellent wristbands

MosquitoBy Alvaro Puig, Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission

Imagine you’re sitting on the patio sipping a cold, refreshing drink, or you’re watching your kid’s afternoon game. Then, without warning, those annoying, unwelcome guests swoop in and ruin the fun.

Come on, now, I don’t mean your in-laws! I’m talking about those pesky mosquitoes, buzzing around and bugging everyone in sight. We’ve all been there, right?

Now, I bet that if there were a product that could keep those little buggers away, you’d be itchin’ to buy it. Before you make a rash decision, you should know that the FTC is swatting down a company’s claims that its mosquito repellent bands can protect you from mosquito bites.

The company said its bands — sold under the names Viatek Mosquito Shield Bands, Viatek Mosquito Bands, and Viatek Bug Repellant Bands — could protect you from mosquito bites for up to 120 hours and create a vapor barrier that protects anyone within five feet. But the FTC says those claims weren’t backed up by scientific evidence and that’s a violation of the law and a previous agreement the company made with the FTC.

The law says a company’s advertising has to be truthful and can’t be deceptive. It also says that a company must have evidence to back up its claims. Sometimes it’s hard to know if a company’s telling the truth, so take some time to learn how to evaluate product claims before you buy.

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