Fake solar eclipse glasses all over the market, how to spot the difference

NOW: Fake solar eclipse glasses all over the market, how to spot the difference

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The solar eclipse is just one week away.

Many are planning to travel south to watch from inside the path of totality, but one thing you'll also need to plan is to bring a real pair of solar eclipse glasses.

The city of South Bend is giving away free pairs of authentic glasses to make sure folks don't get scammed into buying fake ones, which are all over the internet right now.

"I didn't want to wear something that wasn't approved," says Rich Payton, a South Bend resident.

Payton is making sure he and his wife will be viewing the solar eclipse from home, safely.

He picked up two pairs of certified solar eclipse glasses, made just for the astronomical occasion.

"I've talked to more people who have talked about getting glasses and the worry was making sure they're getting ones that are approved," Payton says.

What he means by approved, is making sure he got his hands on glasses that will properly protect his eyes from direct observation of the sun as the eclipse is happening.

Right now, fake eclipse glasses are all over the market with even the American Astronomical Society warning of the counterfeit eyewear.

Some fakes are even attempting to copy the official stamp of approval that marks them safe by American Paper Optics.

Wearing these uncertified glasses can cause damage to the eyes with a false sense of security, but also, a worse view of the eclipse!

So how can you make sure your eclipse glasses are real?

The American Astronomical Society says you shouldn't be able to see anything through them, even very bright lights should appear faint. Most fakes will give you the same feel as sunglasses.

For folks like Payton, this once in a lifetime opportunity is too great to miss getting caught in phony glasses.

"It's one of those rare things that you want to take advantage of if you can," says Payton.

If you haven't picked up a pair of eclipse glasses, do it as soon as possible.

Local pick-up spots like Howard Park were busy Monday with folks coming in for them, and they're limited to 4 per family due to high demand.

You can find the full list of local pick-up spots here.

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