Press Release

Attorney General Shapiro Warns: Don’t Get Blinded By Solar Eclipse Glasses Scams

August 18, 2017 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro is alerting Pennsylvania consumers to be on the lookout for fake solar eclipse glasses that promise to keep consumers’ eyes safe Monday while watching the Solar Eclipse – but which don’t have the required level of protection.

On Monday, millions of Americans and Pennsylvanians will watch the Solar Eclipse. NASA is recommending anyone viewing the eclipse should use solar viewing glasses because of the powerful energy the sun expels. Legitimate solar eclipse glasses have special-purpose filters to protect your eyes, while fake glasses do not.

“We’re warning Pennsylvania consumers: Don’t get blinded by fake solar eclipse glasses,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Do some checking to make sure the glasses you buy will thoroughly protect your eyes and allow you to safely view the Solar Eclipse.”

While Pennsylvanians will not be able to see the full eclipse, we will see the moon covering about 75 to 80 percent of the sun. The same risk of damage holds true for a partially eclipsed sun, so it is important that all viewers protect their eyes.

Scammers have been capitalizing on growing consumer demand to buy glasses to view the Eclipse. According to the American Astronomical Society, fake glasses have flooded the market and there are disturbing reports. Amazon recently notified customers it was recalling certain solar eclipse glasses it sold that didn’t meet the required safety standards.

Attorney General Shapiro and the Office of Attorney General issued these public safety tips while viewing the Solar Eclipse:

  • Make sure the glasses you purchase are registered as a ‘Solar Viewer Brand’ with the American Astronomical Society.
  • Be sure your glasses are marked with the international safety standard – certification number ISO 12312-2. This number will be on the glasses’ frame.
  • If viewing the Eclipse through a camera or telescope, be sure your lens has a solar filter.
  • Read information on how to safely use handheld viewers on the American Astronomical Society’s website.
  • Ordinary sunglasses – even darkly shaded ones – should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers.

“If you believe someone sold you a fake pair of solar eclipse glasses, call our Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555 or email us at scam@attorneygeneral.gov,” Shapiro said. “Don’t get blinded by this scam. Let us fight to protect your vision and you.”

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