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Journalist Nidhi Razdan's Harvard job offer was an online scam

January 15, 2021 17:53 IST

Journalist Nidhi Razdan, who in June 2020 announced her decision to quit NDTV, where she worked for 21 years, to join Harvard University to teach journalism, on Friday posted on Twitter that the job offer was part of an elaborate phishing exercise.

IMAGE: Nidhi Razdan. Photograph: Courtesy, Nidhi Razdan on Twitter.

“I have been the victim of a very serious phishing attack. I’m putting this statement out to set the record straight about what I’ve been through,” she wrote on Twitter.

This is her lengthy statement:

"In June 2020 and after 21 years with NDTV, I decided to move on and said that I would be joining Harvard University as on Associate Professor of Journalism.

"I had been given to believe that I would be joining the University in September 2020. While I was making preparations to take up my new assignment, I was later told that due to the ongoing pandemic, my classes would commence in January 2021.

“Along with these delays, I began noticing a number of administrative anomalies in the process being described to me. At first, I had dismissed these anomalies as being reflective of the new normal being dictated by the pandemic, but recently the representations being made to me were of on even more disquieting nature.

“As a result, I reached out to senior authorities at Harvard University for clarity. Upon their request, I shored some of the correspondence that I believed I had received from the university."

“After hearing  from the university, I have now learnt that I have been the victim of a sophisticated and coordinated phishing attack. I did not, in fact, receive an offer by Harvard University to join their faculty as an associate professor of journalism.

“The perpetrators of this attack used clever forgeries and misrepresentations to obtain access to my personal data and communications and may have also gained access to my devices and my emails/social media accounts.

“Alarmed at the scale of this attack, I have filed a complaint with the police and provided them with all the relevant documentary evidence. I have requested them to take immediate steps to identify, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of this abominable attack. Separately I have also written to the Harvard University authorities and urged them to take the matter seriously.

“In the past few days, I have written to individuals and organisations with whom I have been in touch with over the past few months to keep them informed of this shocking development. I hope that the police are able to get to the bottom of this attack on me at the earliest and help me bring this unsavoury incident to a swift end.”

The Rediff News Bureau