- Ada, Oklahoma

April 15, 2014

Local woman thwarts scam at metro hotel

Art Lawler Staff Writer
East Central University

Ada — NORMAN — Police in Norman are investigating a reported scam attempt on an Ada woman who was on a business trip and staying at a hotel there Tuesday night.

 Dawn Keathley, circulation manager for The Ada News, told Norman police the phone in her room rang about midnight Tuesday.

 A man with a polite voice, identifying himself as as the general manager of the hotel, apologized for disturbing her, but notified Keathley they had experienced a computer crash and were having to re-input all of their guest information.

 Keathley, who said she was still half asleep when the phone rang, complied with the request initially.

 “He asked for my name, my address and my phone number,” Keathley said. “Like an idiot, I gave it to him.”

 “Then he asked how I had made payment,” she said. “With a check,” she told him.

  “Then he asked for my credit card number, and I woke up. I told him I would not give him the number over the telephone.

 “I said I would come downstairs and talk to them there,”  she said.

 Keathley quoted the man as saying, “No, you don’t have to do that. I’m the manager. Just tell me the information.”

 “I asked him why he needed it,” she said. “He said for incidentals.

 “I told him again I was coming down, and he asked me how long it would take me to get down there.

 “I told him until I get my clothes on, and then I’ll be down.

 “He hung up,” she said.

 Then what happened?

 “I saw a button that said guest services and I punched it. A female at the front desk answered.

 Keathley told her the story of the man who had called her at that late hour. The lady on the desk told her the man had called her and gave her my name and room number.

 “He had your name and phone number or I wouldn’t have rang you up,” the woman said.

 “How would he have known that?” Keathley said she asked the woman. Nobody knows where I’m at tonight.”

 The woman told her it was against the hotel’s rules to send anybody  (a call) without him having the name and room number.

 The woman promised to talk to the real manager Wednesday morning.

 Keathley said she then wrote down everything just as it happened so she wouldn’t forget.

 When Keathley went to the lobby in the morning, she talked to another woman who told her she had also experienced a similar call during the night.

 Keathley then said the girl who talked to her on the phone earlier, walked over and said, “Oh, I meant to tell her (the manager) about it.”

 None of them were able to immediately figure out how the man got her personal information.

 Keathley said the night before she had eaten at a restaurant across the street but that she had used cash to pay for her meal.

 Norman police officers Sgt. William Crews, Lt. Eric Lehenbauer and Lt. Shawn Hawkins investigated the incident for Norman police.

 Keathley said one  of the officers told her, ‘It’s getting that time of  year again.”