You don’t have to fight fraud alone.

There are definitely times when it feels like you’re on your own in the credit world — like it’s us against the big banks, with no one else on our side. But you do have one big ally in the fight for financial fairness: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The CFPB was established in 2011 as part of the clean-up efforts following the housing crash and subsequent recession. The CFPB’s mission is to ensure banks and lenders are obeying the rules and treating consumers fairly. In the words of the CFPB itself, “We protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law.”

Of course, it’s one thing to know there’s an agency that’s supposedly looking out for you — and another thing to actually know how it’s helping. For example, how can the CFPB really help you avoid getting caught in a scam by a shady lender? Let’s take a look at a few real ways to make…

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