Sid the Shark has been in Whitehaven helping Cumbria's Trading Standards team warn people not to use illegal money lenders - or loan sharks.
The Citizens Advice Bureau says many Cumbrians end up in fear of their lender and local credit unions are a better option.
Loan sharks are being targetted in Carlisle as part of a crackdown on illegal money lending.
Trading standards officers and the police are handing out leaflets in the city centre warning people about the dangers of borrowing money from unregulated lenders.
They're also warning loan sharks that there will be a zero tolerance approach to those taking advantage of people struggling in these tough financial times.
The mascot 'Sid the Shark' will be touring the street of Carlisle offering advice against using loan sharks.
Trading Standards, in partnership with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, have been hosting the 'Week of Action.'
It aims to raise awareness of illegal money lending and reward people who join Carlisle Credit Union.
The week has included training sessions for officers and councillors from the county and city council and school visits and lessons in Loan Shark awareness.
Also the first 100 Cumbrians who join the Carlisle Credit Union during the week will have the £1 membership waived.
The 'Week of Action' and the Credit Union initiative is being funded via cash confiscated from illegal money lenders, giving it back to the local communities affected by loan sharks.
Convicted loan shark Paul Gilpin, will appear at Carlisle Crown Court in a Proceeds of Crime hearing. He could have assets seized.