The Purdy Police Department is warning area residents of a new scam trending in southwest Missouri.
Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe said an elderly woman reported getting a phone call from an unknown person stating that she had won a "large sum of money or a new car."
The caller told the woman to go to Walmart and purchase a gift card in the amount of $500 to send to him in order to collect her prize.
The victim was told to contact a specific telephone number when she had purchased the gift card and arrangements would be made to have it picked up.
The scammer told the woman to "dress up nicely, clean up her home and not to tell anyone" about the call or her prize.
The scammer continued to call and harass the woman even after she and her son told them to stop calling. The scammer has continued to call and has begun making threats of physical harm if the woman refused to send the money.
The same victim has previously received calls from an individual claiming to represent the Publisher's Clearinghouse, also requesting money in the form of a gift card.
Lowe has turned over information on the scam over to the Federal Trade Commission.
"We want to remind everyone if someone contacts you stating you have won a prize and requests money to claim it, it is not a legitimate event," Lowe said. "Area residents are asked to report any suspicious activity to their local law enforcement officials."