THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public against entities that associate themselves with the corporate regulator.

In an advisory, the SEC reported that entities on Facebook called SEC Registration Assistance and SEC Registration Assistance Support have been operating as if they are part of the regulator.

The entities have been collecting fees from the public in exchange for services that are given for free by the commission. They have also been using the official SEC logo in their social media posts, according to the SEC’s investigation.

“Please be informed that the SEC is not, in any way, connected or affiliated with SEC Registration Assistance,  SEC Registration Assistance Support, or other entities offering similar services,” the commission said.

The SEC said that the public is advised that the processing for company registration is available online through the SEC Electronic Simplified Processing of Application for Registration of Company (eSPARC).

The commission said that it has not recognized or authorized the use of the official SEC logo by the said entities.

“Any unauthorized use or appropriation for business or personal exploitation thereof by individuals or entities without written permission, endorsement or approval by the commission shall be severely dealt with by law and may incur criminal liability or otherwise sanctioned or penalized accordingly,” the regulator said.

The commission discouraged the public from transacting in activities or services being offered by the entities.

“The public is hereby advised to exercise caution in dealing with any individual or group of persons who use the official SEC logo in its social media accounts. The public is further advised to transact or communicate concerns about SEC matters only through the contact details provided at the official SEC website,” it added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson