SCAM ALERT: Planning to Watch the August 21 Eclipse? Beware of Fake Glasses

Those who use phony glasses to view the eclipse could suffer permanent eye damage

SCAM ALERT: Planning to Watch the August 21 Eclipse? Beware of Fake Glasses
Image: NASA
August 4, 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be able to view an eclipse of the sun. In some areas, it will be a total solar eclipse.

Because of the eclipse's path on August 21, North Carolinians will have the opportunity to view the amazing sight of part (or all) of the sun disappearing from view. For many, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Scammers abound

If you're planning on watching the eclipse, be wary of scammers and unscrupulous businesses looking to make a quick buck off the event by selling phony eyewear to unsuspecting consumers. The crooks claim that this eyewear allows you to safely view the eclipse.

Those who use the fake glasses to view the eclipse could suffer permanent eye damage.

The danger of the bogus eyewear is so great that NASA is publicizing the need for people to ensure that they have the CORRECT glasses to view the eclipse.

Real eclipse glasses—what to look for

NASA says that consumers should look for glasses with the "ISO" icon, along with the accompanying code 12312-2, manufactured by these companies ONLY: American Paper Optics, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), Rainbow Symphony, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17.

NASA also says that consumers should avoid using glasses that are more than 3 years old, or glasses with lenses that have scratches or wrinkles. These glasses may fail to provide an adequate level of protection.

Safe, ISO-compliant eclipse eyewear is already on sale in retail stores and online. Many public libraries are hosting eclipse-watching events, and some are also distributing free glasses.

Report suspected scams

If you believe that someone has sold you fake eclipse glasses, report the con right away to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.

Find out more about the August 21 eclipse