UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – A suburban Chicago man has been charged with targeting a University City, Missouri, woman and scamming her out of $50,000 in cash.

According to the University City Police Department’s probable cause statement, the incident happened on March 19.

The 76-year-old victim told police she was using her desktop computer when she received an alert telling her that her information had been compromised. The alert directed her to contact Microsoft and provided a phone number.

The victim called the number and provided some personal information, including the last four digits of her Social Security number. She was allegedly transferred to a representative of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The man on the other end of the line told the victim her identity had been compromised and was being used in the production of pornography.

Mystery credit card charges for downtown parking explained

Police claim the person on the phone told the victim the government could freeze her bank accounts while she paid to have her identity restored. The man asked for $100,000, but the victim said she could not afford that and offered to pay $50,000.

The man agreed, and the victim arranged to withdraw $50,000 in cash from her bank account. The man told the victim to separate the money into bundles of $10,000 and to place them in a bag. He said a vehicle would arrive later to pick up the money.

The victim said a dark-colored Mercedes-Benz sedan pulled up outside her house. She walked outside and handed the money to the driver.

Days later, the victim received a phone call from the man claiming to be from the FTC. He asked for an additional $50,000 from the victim.

The victim became suspicious and contacted the police.

Several weeks after that phone call, police in Wisconsin arrested Ligneshkumar Patel (age not provided) for allegedly running a similar scam. Police there claim Patel admitted running a scam in the St. Louis area.

The vehicle Patel was driving matched the description of the car seen in the University City scam. In addition, license plate readers observed Patel’s vehicle driving westbound on Interstate 270 in Granite City on the night the victim turned over her money. Patel’s cellphone data showed he was in the area of the victim’s residence around the time that the money changed hands.

Patel lives in Des Plaines, Illinois, approximately 20 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Patel with stealing – $25,000 or more.