THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public not to give out personal information on Facebook in connection with campaigns to initiate petitions against lending companies.

“The (SEC) has received information that certain Facebook pages have been soliciting personal information from the public through the use of Google Forms for purposes of allegedly filing a petition to the SEC, the shutdown of so-called illegal lending companies, and other similar motives,” the regulator said in an advisory.

It reminded the public to be vigilant with personal information shared online, noting: “this is not the proper way of filing a complaint with the commission.”  

A complaint form may be downloaded from the regulator’s website for SEC-registered firms. According to its website, only authorized lending or financing companies may become respondents to complaints.

“In order for the SEC to further investigate possible violations of the relevant laws, rules, and regulations committed by erring financing and lending companies, complainants should file a formal complaint directly to the SEC,” the commission said.

Concerns involving lending and financing companies may also be forwarded to the commission’s Corporate Governance and Finance Department.

Meanwhile, complaints or reports of companies engaging in lending activities without certificates of authority may be sent via e-mail to the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte