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About our work

Protecting Consumers, Fostering Trust and Innovation 

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) protects consumers and fosters trust by regulating companies and individuals offering financial products. We work closely with state and federal agencies to investigate claims of financial abuse and fraud and ensure financial service providers follow the law. We foster innovation by encouraging the development of responsible financial tools that help all Californians thrive.

Victim of financial fraud or a scam? We can help.

We believe all California consumers deserve protection. You can file a complaint against individuals or financial service companies that use unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. We never ask for a person’s immigration status. We offer translation services for dozens of languages and review every complaint that comes our way. If you have questions, call us toll-free at (866) 275-2677.

Contact us:

  • If you need to file a complaint about an individual or business we regulate.
  • If you need to verify that a financial institution, company, or individual is licensed in California.
  • If you need the services of a finance lender, mortgage banker, investment advisor or escrow agent. We can tell you if a person or company is licensed and in good standing.
  • If you need to verify whether a franchise is registered or if a securities issuer is complying with the law.
  • If you have been a victim of financial fraud or a scam and need to file a complaint.

 What constitutes fraud or a financial scam? There are many different types of financial fraud and consumers scams out there. Some defraud consumers through false investment schemes, while others promise to help recover those losses for a fee but never deliver. We are required to refer some complaints to federal authorities but investigate scams from the industries we oversee.

We oversee or license:

  • State-chartered banks and credit unions
  • Investment advisors and brokers
  • Payday lenders
  • Consumer and commercial loan companies
  • Student loan servicers
  • Mortgage lenders
  • Escrow agents
  • Money transmitters
  • PACE program administrators
  • Offer and sale of franchises
  • Offer and sale of securities
  • Debt-collectors
  • Consumer credit reporting agencies
  • Credit repair agencies
  • Debt relief agencies
  • Rent-to-own contractors

New Law, Better Protections

Thanks to the California Consumer Financial Protection Law, our Department is poised to better protect consumers from pandemic-inspired scams, regulate emerging financial products, and oversee previously unregulated industries such as debt collectors, rent-to-own contractors, private student loan servicers, and more.

Our Consumer Services Office is ready to receive complaints against those offering financial products and services using unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. For the first time in our history, we’ll be better able to protect student borrowers attending private schools and consumers who have used credit repair agencies but were duped by illegal practices and hidden fees.

Our Work

We help enforce California laws and regulations by licensing financial services, products, and professionals and regulating franchises and securities offerings. DFPI employees conduct exams to make sure providers are following the law and our enforcement team investigates suspected fraud and scams.

When companies or individuals mislead consumers, we publish consumer alerts on our website and across our social media accounts. We take legal action against bad actors, helping California consumers collect restitution for money lost.

Our education and outreach team provides resources across the state, helping the most vulnerable in our communities avoid scams and make smart financial choices. If you would like to schedule a DFPI presentation or request resource guides, email us at outreach@dfpi.ca.gov.

Last updated: Jan 20, 2021 @ 3:59 pm