FTC Settles with Sellers of Bogus Cell Phone Radiation Protection Patches

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with Comstar Communications, Inc. and its president, Randall A. Carasco, who marketed and sold "WaveShield," "WaveShield 1000," and "WaveShield 2000" cell phone radiation protection patches. Using television, radio, and Internet advertising, the defendants allegedly claimed that their products could block up to 99 percent of radiation and other electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular telephones, thereby reducing consumers' exposure to this radiation. In February 2002, the FTC issued a complaint against the West Sacramento, California-based defendants alleging that these claims were false and unsubstantiated.

The stipulated order, which has been approved by the court, prohibits the defendants from the future marketing or selling of any product that purports to reduce consumers' exposure to radiation and electromagnetic energy, unless the claims are true and can be substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. The order also prohibits the defendants from making unsubstantiated representations about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any product or service. The settlement requires the defendants to clearly disclose that most electromagnetic energy emitted by cell phones comes from parts of the phone other than the earpiece, where the WaveShield is placed, and that the WaveShield has no significant effect on this other radiation. Additionally, the settlement prohibits the defendants from misrepresenting the results of any test, study, or research. The settlement contains various recordkeeping provisions to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants' compliance.

The Commission vote to approve the filing of the stipulated final order for permanent injunction was 5-0. The order was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, in Sacramento, on April 28, 2003.

Copies of the stipulated final order are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1 877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

(FTC Matter No. X020039)
(Civil Action No. CIV.S-020348 MCE JFM)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Brenda Mack,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2182
Staff Contact:
Serena Viswanathan,
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3244