KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – If you’re hitting the road and traveling this holiday season, there’s a simple trick to protect yourself from thieves.

During the run-up to the holidays, several local law enforcement departments are warning of “skimmers” on gas pumps. Over the past few weeks, authorities in New York, Kansas, Utah and other states have warned about scammers preying on unsuspecting drivers.

It’s also something the Clay County, Missouri Sheriff is warning about after a county employee fell victim. The employee stopped at a gas station and her credit card number was stolen by a skimmer that was installed on the pump.

Investigators said after stealing the card numbers, thieves use the numbers to make large purchases.

The sheriff’s office said a simple trick can protect you against this headache.

Simply pull on the card reader at the gas pump before you swipe your card. Skimmers will come off of the pump because they aren’t permanently attached.