PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -- A growing number of parents are buying counterfeit or unsafe car seats, thinking they’re getting a great deal.

The scam was a national conversation earlier this year, and now Prairie Village police say they’ve hit the metro.

The car seats are mostly sold online. Some scammers use pictures from the manufacturers’ websites to make you think you’re getting a top name brand product on sale.

Safety experts say there are a few things every car seat should have.

There will be a lot of warning labels, on both sides of it. They will always be in English, sometimes in Spanish. If there are any other languages, that’s a red flag.

The straps should have a chest clip. It’s not enough for the harness to click in at the bottom, you need multiple buckles.

You’ll also want to look at the padding. If there is any piece that looks like it’s missing or added, that could be a sign it’s unsafe.

Car seat experts do a lot of inspections and say it’s upsetting every time they see a knock-off.

“Frankly, I’m mad. I’m mad that someone has created a product that will put children at risk because it absolutely will not be safe in a crash,” said Shannon Bernal, Children’s Mercy Hospital’s car seat program coordinator.

If you’re not sure if your child’s car seat is safe, you can find a certified inspector on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website. Type in your city, and it will list local hospitals and police departments who perform free car seat inspections. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

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