BBB Warns: Watch Out for Shady Sellers of Solar Eclipse Glasses

August 09, 2017


Thomas Johnson,                                                              
Director of Public and Board Relations, 
BBB Serving Chicago & Northern Illinois, 312-245-2643                       

Judith Ruiz-Branch
PR & Community Outreach Coordinator
BBB Serving Chicago & Northern Illinois, 312-245-2516

BBB Warns: Watch Out for Shady Sellers of Solar Eclipse Glasses

With the world full of anticipation and excitement for the total solar eclipse taking place on August 21, 2017 for the first time since 1979, scammers are taking advantage of this opportunity by releasing phony eclipse glasses.

While people are overwhelmed with excitement to view the solar eclipse, they may overlook the dangers of unsafe viewing equipment created for fast profit, not safety. Real solar eclipse glasses have specially designed filters that keep your eyes protected while watching the sun. But wearing fake ones, regular sunglasses, or watching the eclipse through binoculars and cameras will leave your eyes vulnerable to damage.

Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers about reports of counterfeit glasses hitting the market that falsely claim to meet the standards for safe solar viewing set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois says, “Unfortunately, dishonest vendors can grab the ISO logo off the internet and put it on their products and packaging even if their eclipse glasses or viewers haven't been properly tested. This is one of the rare scams that actually can cause harm and threaten the physical well-being of consumers.”

Bernas adds, “The real glasses look very similar to movie theater 3-D glasses and can be purchased for as little as $2 dollars.”


Tips for safe viewing:

  • Warn children of the danger in viewing the eclipse without protective eyewear.

  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

  • Additionally, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eye(s), causing serious injury.

  • Sunglasses, even very dark sunglasses are not enough.

  • If the filters are torn, scratched, punctured or coming loose from their cardboard or plastic frames, discard them.

Both the American Astronomical Society and NASA have issued guidelines for purchasing your equipment from reputable vendors. For a list click here.


Search our databases anytime at no cost to find trustworthy businesses and valuable consumer information. Visit Follow us on FacebookTwitter ,Instagram and LinkedIn.


ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. Consumers and businesses can search business reviews and ratings on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.