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Journalist Nidhi Razdan says her Harvard job offer was fraudulent, calls it ‘phishing attack’

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Journalist Nidhi Razdan on Friday said that she had been a victim of a “very serious phishing attack” that resulted in her believing that she had been offered a teaching position at Harvard University. The journalist had on June 13 announced that she would be quitting NDTV to take up the position.

“In June 2020 and after 21 years with NDTV, I decided to move on and said that I would be joining Harvard University as an Associate Professor of Journalism,” said Razdan in a statement released on Twitter. “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 in January 2021. Along with these delays, I began noticing a number of administrative anomalies in the process being described to me.”

 

The journalist said that she had, at first, dismissed the irregularities as “being reflective of the new normal being dictated by the pandemic, but recently the representations being made to me were of an even more disquieting nature”. After this, the journalist said she contacted the senior authorities at Harvard University for clarity.

“Upon their request, I shared some of the correspondence that I believed I had received from the University,” the statement said. “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 email/social media accounts.”

Razdan said she has filed a police complaint. She also wrote to the Harvard University authorities and urged them to take serious note of the matter, the journalist’s statement added.

“In the past few days, I have written to individuals and organizations with whom I have been in touch with over the past few months to keep them informed of this shocking development,” it read. “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.”

She was the host of the NDTV programme Left, Right and Centre.

In November, Razdan won the International Press Institute India award for excellence in journalism for her reporting of the Kathua rape and murder case in Jammu and Kashmir.

Razdan is the author of Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India, published in July 2017.