For consumers who got burned when they bought what they thought were UV sterilizers that didn't actually kill germs as advertised, getting a letter in the mail that purports to be from the FTC with a check for nearly $100 attached might seem like a perpetuation of the scam.
But these checks are the real deal, and affected customers should go ahead and cash them.
"These are legitimate refund checks that must be cashed within 60 days of the date they are issued, or they will become void," the FTC said in a news release published Friday. These checks, described by the agency as partial refunds, are the result of a settlement reached last August between the FTC and Zadro Health Solutions.
The average check amount is for $96.50, and the FTC said the settlement administrator will send out a total of 2,172 to affected customers who paid between $59.99 and $159.99 for Zadro's Nano-UV "disinfecting wands," which were marketed as devices that could kill bacteria like E. coli and salmonella, as well as the H1N1 swine flu virus.
"The defendants said their devices' UV rays would kill dangerous microorganisms, but they didn't have scientific evidence to back that up," FTC Consumer Protection Bureau Jessica Rich said in a statement.