Informa - Someone using the Informa name for possible scam?

I just went through the first steps of applying for Imforma because of the good reviews I read about them in Mystery Shopping Magazine. Well, I can't login to fill out the 'Forms I Can Enter Directly' to fill out my W-9. Then I get a call today from someone who says they are from Informa and could I do a shop for them that was far away, for $20 but bonused $170. It was described as checking to see if the teller would detect possible fraud. If the teller missed it, I was supposed to go ahead and send the funds anyway. The person said they would advance my PayPal account $100 so that I would have funds to send if I didn't have my own money. I checked the details of the originating number. It was 000-000-0000. It came up as 'Unknown' on my caller ID. And the funny thing is that I still can't login to fill out my W-9. What does everyone think? I didn't tell anyone I was applying to this company, I can't login, so how did someone saying they were from Informa get my telephone number?

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SCAM! SCAM! notify Informa! I hope you did not give them your PayPal account info. If you did, change it now.
Scammers can find out pretty much what they want, easy for them. How could teller detect possible fraud? Never got a $170 bonus on a bank teller shop, I have shopped over 2000 branches.
Informa Research Services
Thanks for the replies everyone. The sign-in page is [financialintelligence.informa.com]. I found their business page by doing a search. It is [financialintelligence.informa.com]. From that page, I could see the Los Angeles office telephone number at Informa Research Services, Los Angeles. 30501 Agoura Road, 2nd Floor, Agoura Hills, CA 91301 USA Tel: 800.848.0218. I called this telephone number. I was transferred to the mystery shopper voicemail. The voicemail had an outgoing message identifying Julius Wolf. Julius Wolf called me back and confirmed that there was a scheduler Cynthia Alvarez. What was odd, was that I could not log into the Prophet page the same way that I can on other Prophet pages for other companies. Julius reset my password. I could then log in. I then saw the job put on my profile page. The odd thing was that when he called me back, the number came up as 'Unknown' and the details of the call came up as 000-000-0000. I have never been called by a company from an unknown number and the details of the call saying it is from telephone #000-000-0000. This a teller shop for a money wiring service. And no, I have never been offered that high of a bonus for anything. But the city is 170 miles away from me one way, and Cynthia did say that this shop has to get done and they haven't found someone to go there. Any idea of what might be going on? It feels weird to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2017 02:48AM by Leesah.
BTW - after I hit the send button, it changed the urls. I'll try again. First one is [financialintelligence.informa.com]. The second is [financialintelligence.informa.com]. I hope when I hit the send it won't change the urls.
It did it again. I did Ctrl + C and then Ctrl + V the first time. The second time I typed each character out. This forum page is changing the urls. I just don't know what to think. Has anyone done shops for Informa that were bonused that high?
IMO, $170 is cheap for 340 miles round trip. The mileage deduction is more than the bonus.

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Well, I don't travel far because I live in a large metro area, so far for me is going from one side of the metro to the other, which can be 40-50 miles. Would you take it, and do you think this is the real Informa, or were they hijacked by imposters, or am I really paranoid?
@Leesah wrote:

Well, I don't travel far because I live in a large metro area, so far for me is going from one side of the metro to the other, which can be 40-50 miles. Would you take it, and do you think this is the real Informa, or were they hijacked by imposters, or am I really paranoid?

Well that doesn't appear to be Informa's website ... But maybe someone else can chime in?
I have spoken with Julius Wolfe when I had a problem once. He resolved it very promptly and apologized. He was pleasant and professional. When he called me his number came up as "not available." I know the shop that you refer to, although not necessarily in that location. Informa is a great MSC and Julius is a helpful person who treats shoppers well. Also, this company has paid me very large bonuses when they were running out of time to complete projects, so this whole scenario is not surprising to me.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Thanks for replying. It's nice to hear from someone that has shopped for them. I am signed up with several MSCs and I have never been called by anyone from a blocked number. The whole experience just seemed odd. I'm relieved that there is someone else on the forum that has shopped with them, knows they call from blocked numbers and is familiar with the shop that I described.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2017 04:45AM by Leesah.
As far as I know, only their senior managers use blocked numbers. My schedulers' number show up. And, they are great schedulers!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Cynthia Alvarez, a scheduler for Informa, reached out to me via voicemail. She left a message saying that Informa is a real mystery shopping company. I do not doubt that Informa is a legitmate MS company, because it on the MSPA list of providers. But we all know that scammers have posed as being from a mystery shopping company and tried to run scams on people. Many MSC websites even warn their shoppers about scams. What sent alarm bells off for me was that I could not log into Prophet the way I usually do, calls from unknown numbers, the unusually high pay, and the type of shop I was being offered. I very much hope that I am wrong and no one has hijacked this company. I have read that this company is great to work with. I wanted to hear from people who had worked with this company, to see if they thought this was the real Informa or not.
They definitely do that type of shop and definitely offer high fees when they are near deadlines.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Yes I have shopped for Informa. Julius is the right person who heads up one of the departments. I would listen to LisaSTL. Some of their shops are extremely detailed, lots of paper work, lots of PDFs. I am not sure about this shop. The mileage seems excessive to me.
I just shopped two banks today with bonuses, $80 within 20 miles of my house, easy reports.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/29/2017 08:14PM by shopper8.
Hi, I just joined this board and saw your post first. While it sounds far fetched to have that high of a bonus, the mileage you needed to cover in order to get that shop done was a high amount so it becomes more plausible. There are all kinds of shops and definitely good to be savvy and extremely vigilant with your own information. However, I know personally that there is a scheduler naked Cynthia Alvarez who is a very helpful and real worker! I just completed a job for her and my situation was entirely different but I also had to get the job placed on my job board independently of my normal search process. I actually think this is a real shop and hopefully by now you've either done it and are getting paid or decided against it but feel safe and not having been at risk.
Let me know what your outcome was!
Hi,

Thanks for replying and following this thread. I received an email from them about a week ago, asking if I had at least $250,000 total in all combined accounts at a certain bank. The email said there was a shop for $250. This email asked me to summarize if and what the total balances I may have at this bank.

I did not do the first shop, nor did I reply to the email. I believe there is a real Informa, but I am not sure that the page I may have been directed to or signed up for was them. What I find a little bit odd, is that no one from the real Informa has jumped on this page and verified for us shoppers how to know if it's really them or not. I don't want to be insulting to the real Informa, either. But from time to time, I have gotten warning email from other MS companies I work for, that there is a scam going on using their name, and how to tell the difference. So I believe there is a real Informa, but I am unsure about if where I landed and signed up is really them. So that's where things are right now.
Go to the bottom of this page where there s a list of MS Companies that are real. Find Informa and follow the link to their site. I recentlydid a very nice shop for them where I had to show that I had a specific total amount deposited with a particular bank, So, that is certainly the sort of thing that the real Informa does.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Thanks for the reply. I will repeat the process and follow the link you suggested and see if I end up at the same place or a different place.
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