Razer will refund Zephyr mask buyers due to bogus N95 claims

The company has to hand over more than $1.1 million to the FTC as part of its settlement.


Razer has to pay over $1.1 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle complaints that it advertised its infamous Zephyr masks as N95-grade when it didn't get them certified at all. The gaming peripheral maker released Zephyr, its high-tech face mask with built-in RGB lighting, during the height of the pandemic. Half a year later, in early 2022, it introduced a "Pro" version that added voice amplification. Razer said back then the Zephyr was as effective as an N95 mask, but it later reneged on its claim and removed all references to "N95-grade" filters from its website and other marketing materials after it came out that the company didn't obtain proper certification.

According to the FTC, Razer never submitted the Zephyr masks for testing to the FDA or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which gives out the official certification for masks that filter out 95 percent of airborne particles. Razer certainly isn't in the list of companies that manufacture N95 masks approved by NIOSH on its website. In the FTC's complaint, it accused Razer of only stopping its false advertising after consumer outrage.

The company has to hand over what it earned from selling Zephyr — that's $1,071,254.33 in revenue — to the FTC, which the agency will then use to refund affected consumers. To note, the Zephyr masks cost customers at least $100. It will pay $100,000 in fine over its unsubstantiated health claims, as well. In addition to ordering Razer refund customers, the FTC also prohibited the company from making any claims that it's selling products that reduce the likelihood of being infected with or transmitting the COVID-19 virus without proper FDA approval. Razer has also been prohibited from claiming health benefits for its products without scientific evidence to support them, as well as from "falsely claiming that any product meets government-established standards when it has not."