Are you watching the Solar Eclipse in April? Make sure your special glasses aren’t scams!

29 March 2024- Attorney General Michelle Henry is alerting Pennsylvania consumers to beware of scammers selling glasses to view the solar eclipse on April 8 — as those glasses might not keep you safe.

NASA is recommending that the millions of people expected to watch the eclipse use solar-viewing glasses due to the intense energy from the sun. Legitimate solar-viewing glasses have special filters to protect your eyes; fake glasses do not have those filters.

“This is a fun and exciting global event, and that widespread anticipation has attracted scammers looking to make a buck without consideration of potential harm,” Attorney General Henry said. “Do your research to make sure the glasses you buy will thoroughly protect your eyes and allow you to safely view the solar eclipse.”

Pennsylvanians in Crawford, Erie, Mercer, and Warren counties are in the direct path of the solar eclipse and should see a 100% total solar eclipse. The remainder of the Commonwealth will experience a partial eclipse ranging from 88 to 99% of coverage of the sun.

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.

The Office of Attorney General issued these public safety tips while viewing the solar eclipse:

  • The only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers.
  • 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 suppliers of safe solar viewers and filters, as well as 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 scams@attorneygeneral.gov.