The nation’s top consumer advocate, Richard Cordray, talked about empowering people against fraud and scams on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Wednesday.

Cordray said consumers can file complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after they’ve had a problem, but that the bureau’s mission is more than that.

“Cleaning up things after the fact is never satisfying. It’s important. It’s important to deter people, important to enforce the law, but to the extent we can prevent it up front, that’s even better,” said Cordray. “And to the extent we can put people in a position to prevent problems for themselves up front. That’s best of all.”

The bureau was set up after the financial and housing market collapsed a few years ago. The goal is to protect people dealing with mortgages, credit cards, student loans and bank accounts.

For more information on the bureau, click here.