Missoula law enforcement officials are warning the public about a new scam that pretends to involve the FBI, the Missoula Police Department, and the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes.

"A male contacted a local resident claiming to be with the FBI," said Missoula Police Detective Sergeant Travis Welsh. "He was talking with her about a reward that she had allegedly received from Publisher's Clearing House and, apparently, explained to her that that would require a financial obligation on her part."

On Monday, January 13, the woman received another call.

"She was informed that local law enforcement would be contacting her to verify this information for her," Welsh said. "Subsequent to that, a short time later, she did receive a phone call from another male that identified himself, by name, as a Missoula Police Officer. He actually used a real identity."

The scam target and her family members went straight to the police to see if the story was real, but the officer whose identity had been used, knew nothing of the sweepstakes.

Welsh said that the incident is another important reminder that the public should not give out sensitive information over the phone.

Travis Welsh: