Beware the dark side of the eclipse | PostIndependent.com

Beware the dark side of the eclipse

Better Business Bureau

On Aug. 21, a full solar eclipse will be visible across the mainland United States, with a 90 percent eclipse visible in Garfield County.

The path of the eclipse will go directly through Wyoming, with many areas of the state expected to be among the best spots in the country to view the eclipse along the "path of totality" due to Wyoming's elevation and sunny weather.

Big events also mean big opportunities for scammers and unscrupulous businesses. With a once-in-a-lifetime event like this, it's important to plan carefully. Therefore, BBB offers the following tips to help you with your preparation to view the solar eclipse:

Counterfeit Glasses

To view the solar eclipse directly without damage to your eyes, you need special solar filter glasses. These are much more powerful than sunglasses, which block only about 50 percent of the sun's rays. Solar filter glasses block more than 99 percent.

Be on the lookout for solar glasses being sold that are counterfeit. Your best bet is to stick with a brand whose glasses are certified by NASA and the American Astronomical Society and to deal with a reputable seller to make sure you're getting the real thing and not a counterfeit.

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Canceled Hotel Reservations

While we have not heard of this happening locally, there are reports of travelers in other states who booked hotels for the eclipse long in advance, before it was more publicized. The travelers then reported that the hotel canceled their reservation and offered the rooms again at a much higher rate. If this does happen to you, BBB offers dispute resolution services.

Last-Minute Scams

If you're still looking for a place to stay during the eclipse, be wary of scammers who might try to list last-minute accommodations on websites like Airbnb, VRBO or Craigslist. If you're using a platform like Airbnb, make sure to correspond through the platform.

Always double check that a listing is on the real website and emails are coming from official addresses. Using credit cards offers the best fraud protection, and don't deal with anyone who asks for payment outside of the platform's approved options.

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