Fighting Financial Scams During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Capital One created resources to help people that do not primarily speak English avoid phishing schemes


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic posed a unique set of challenges for people that do not speak English as their primary language as they sought out news and resources about the novel coronavirus. 

According to a 2018 U.S. Census Bureau survey, nearly 25% of Americans that speak Asian and Pacific Island languages as their first language live in limited English-speaking households — the highest percent of any demographic.

After conversations with the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) about the impacts of COVID-19 on the communities that they serve, Capital One set out to combat the general lack of available resources and information offered in languages spoken by members in National CAPACD’s affiliate network.

Capital One produced videos aimed at protecting and educating Asian Americans on how to avoid predatory financial scams while highlighting some of the common fraud warning signs and ways to avoid them. Fifteen volunteers from Capital One’s Business Resource Group for Asian and Pacific Islanders —  Origins —  used their language expertise to help review the translations in Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese. In addition, Capital One provided National CAPACD with a $5,000 grant to distribute the videos to their affiliate network. 

“My mom is in her 70s and uses technology to connect with my siblings who live in different parts of the world,” says Choon Yan Tan, a senior manager at Capital One who volunteered to review the Mandarin translation of Capital One’s financial scam prevention video. “Not being technologically savvy, she was overwhelmed by all the potential scams and phishing schemes she encountered on various channels during the pandemic. Those videos are designed to inform people like her about how to spot suspicious emails, texts and calls.”

Through its coalition of 100 community-based organizations spanning 21 states and the Pacific islands, National CAPACD disseminates national resources locally to help improve the lives of more than two million AAPI living in poverty nationwide. Last year, National CAPACD began distributing the financial scam prevention videos to community partners. 

"Providing culturally competent and in-language information and resources on banking is absolutely critical as consumers with limited English proficiency navigate relief and recovery resources,” said National CAPACD's Executive Director Seema Agnani. “We are proud to partner with Capital One in getting accurate and trustworthy information out to our communities."

Those videos were also created in English and Spanish

Capital One’s efforts to help create resources to improve financial well-being for all people comes as part of our larger Capital One Impact Initiative, an initial $200 million, multi-year commitment to advancing socioeconomic mobility through advocating for an inclusive society, building thriving communities and creating financial tools that enrich lives.

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