Solvency Shark Angry: 240-374-5400

If 240-374-5400 calls, let it go to voice mail. Then delete it without a second thought. MY STORY: I was contacted by this number about three weeks ago and the person on the other end of the line left a message best described as hurried, garbled, and puzzling:
“Hellothisis(muffled)pleasecallbackat2403745400andreferenceyouraccountnumber36489(trails off)againpleasecallback2403745400*click*.”
Well, that was strange. It may have been the Solvency Shark’s keen sense of smell (I can smell one drop of budget in a million drops of water), but this felt like a scammy collections agency.
I scanned my brain for any possible reason why a bill of mine would be in collections, but it seemed unlikely. Most collection calls don’t come from left field like this one did; there are usually late notices and warnings that precede them.
But doubt and fear can be powerful allies in the hands of a scam outfit. Perhaps you owe so many different creditors that you just can’t tell. Maybe you think this is just the latest in a long string of collection agencies to snap up your overdue account in hopes of profit. As for me, I caved in after convincing myself that the call was possibly linked to one of the utility companies in my new city; what with unpacking and finding new grocery stores and trying to make new friends, maybe I had forgotten to pay my very first bill.
So I called back and left my name and phone number on their answering machine. I felt uneasy, but I told myself that it was good to get to the bottom of things just in case there was a legitimate problem with one of my accounts.
Suddenly, my resolve steeled itself anew and a shining burst of undeniable logic sliced my fears in twain: “Well, the voicemail sounded like a scam… and it feels like a scam right now… hey! It probably IS a scam!” A feeling of annoyance washed over me. They may have driven the Solvency Shark to frenzy by throwing some bogus chum into the waters, but it would be my choice to swallow the putrid carcasses. I decided to do a bit of research.
I punched the phone number into Google and quickly found several forums featuring threads full of complaints about phone calls from this number. People said that these callers had left messages similar to the one I had found on my phone – vague, nonsensical, and more often than not with some overly complex “reference number” included.
Solvency Shark almost duped by bottom-feeding scammers! Solvency Shark angry!!
My phone rang. It was them. I cursed myself for taking the bait earlier, but I had no choice now but to take action.
Solvency Shark… SMASH!
I picked up the phone and said hello with all the built-in cynicism I could muster. Scammer said, “HellomynameisScammerjumblemumbledygoober.” I asked him to repeat the last thing he said. He didn’t understand so I repeated. He still didn’t understand so I repeated insistently. Finally, he understood and said dismissively, “Oh – this call will be recorded for quality assurance.”
Yeah, right. “Quality.”
I asked Scammer who was calling. He gave me the name of a collections and outsourcing agency that shall remain nameless (unless you decide to Google 240-374-5400). Scammer then asked me again if I was the Solvency Shark. I didn’t say – instead, I asked him to tell me what the call was about first.  He repeated his question. I repeated mine. He repeated his louder. I repeated mine louder and with a pinch of anger. Scammer repeats, I repeat. Again. Once more.
Then I just hung up the phone, disgusted. Solvency Shark hates scams! Moments later, 240-374-5400 was ringing. I didn’t answer. They didn’t leave a message. They haven’t called back since.
Although I would love to highlight all the negative information I found on this company after researching them more thoroughly after the call, the specifics of who was actually behind this unfortunate encounter become irrelevant when we come to the moral of this story: be vigilant over both your money and personal information.
Plenty of people are after both and you are only helping them when you psyche yourself out (like I did). If they don’t sound familiar and refuse to give you any of their information unless you give them yours, hang up the phone and move forward with your life.
Live well, live well within your means, and remember – the Solvency Shark smells budget in the water.
Stewart Pelto

Stewart Pelto

Stewart Pelto is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is now the proud recipient of a Master’s degree in French Literature – a degree that honed the same researching and writing skills he uses to write informative articles today. While pursuing this degree, he taught French courses to undergraduate students for two years. What he enjoyed most about the position was the challenge of making difficult concepts readily understandable and accessible to all.

He served as a Senator for the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, fighting to keep tuition costs down for graduate students struggling with their finances and student loans. He also developed his budgeting skills during his time as a Treasurer for the Graduate Romance Association. He enjoyed becoming more active in his local community and working to make a positive effect on his surroundings.

While an undergraduate himself, he spent a year abroad in Europe earning his degree in Spanish and French. While studying in both Sevilla, Spain, and Montpellier, France, he was exposed to the everyday reality of living under different economic and financial systems. Among other interesting travels he has made is a financial pilgrimage to the Spanish stock market in Madrid.

Stewart Pelto brings his rigorous academic education and his international experience to the problem of raising credit awareness and promoting financial responsibility. He hopes that his articles will teach his readers about debt and credit in an easily accessible and readily understandable way.
Stewart Pelto