Better Business Bureau: Be vigilant of potential eclipse scams

Lane Montz, President/CEO Better Business Bureau

        As excitement builds for the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, BBB is urging consumers to remain vigilant against potential scams that may arise in conjunction with this celestial event.
        The allure of witnessing such a rare phenomenon can unfortunately attract unscrupulous individuals seeking to exploit unsuspecting individuals. This is especially true for those in the 115-mile wide “Path of Totality,” which includes a good portion of our BBB’s territory in Northwest Ohio.
        Common scams associated with the 2024 total solar eclipse may include:
        • Counterfeit eclipse glasses: Scammers might sell fake eclipse glasses that do not provide adequate eye protection, putting buyers at risk of eye damage when viewing the eclipse. Look to see the glasses include the ISO  stamp and message.
        • Credit card scams: Cybercriminals might set up fake websites selling eclipse-related products, such as glasses or memorabilia, to steal credit card information. They may also engage in phishing schemes, sending emails or messages pretending to offer eclipse-related deals to trick recipients into revealing personal or financial information.
        • Fake merchandise: Unscrupulous vendors might sell counterfeit or overpriced eclipse-themed merchandise, exploiting the excitement surrounding the event.
        • Fraudulent accommodation listings: Scammers could create false hotel or rental listings, claiming to offer accommodations with prime views of the eclipse. In reality, these listings may not exist, the properties may not be as described, or the lister is not really the owner.
        • Travel scams: Scammers may advertise discounted travel packages or transportation services for viewing the eclipse, only to disappear with customers' money or provide subpar services.
        To safeguard against falling victim to these scams, consumers should:
        • Purchase eclipse viewing glasses and other related products only from reputable vendors or verified sources. Shop locally whenever possible.
        • Exercise caution when providing personal or financial information online. This advice is good all year round, not just for the eclipse.
        • Verify the legitimacy of accommodation listings by researching the property and reading reviews from trusted sources.
        By remaining vigilant and informed, individuals can enjoy the awe-inspiring experience of the total solar eclipse without becoming prey to fraudulent schemes. Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is.
        And let’s hope the weather cooperates so the whole buildup to this rare event doesn’t turn out to be a scam for all of us.
        Lane Montz is Presiden/CEO of Better Business Bureau® and Better Business Bureau Ethics Foundation, Inc,
7668 King's Pointe Rd., Toledo. Visit for more tips and information.


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