Established Indian news anchor Nidhi Razdan has filed a police complaint claiming she was duped into quitting her job for an offer to join Harvard University as an Associate Professor of Journalism that turned out to be a scam.
Razdan worked for 21 years at NDTV, one of India’s biggest broadcasters, but on Friday said she had been tricked into leaving the company in June after she became the “victim of a very serious phishing attack.”
The journalist thought she was joining Harvard in September 2020, with her classes set to start in January 2021 due to the pandemic – but realized her job offer was fake after contacting senior authorities at the Ivy League university about the job.
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. I will not be addressing this issue any further on social media. pic.twitter.com/bttnnlLjuh
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) January 15, 2021
“I did not, in fact, receive an offer by Harvard University to join their faculty as an Associate Professor of Journalism,” she said in a statement on Friday, released on Twitter.
“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.”
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Razdan said that she was “alarmed at the scale” of the hoax, adding that she had urged Harvard authorities to deal with the incident, as well as the police.
Many users on social media were quick to mock Razdan over the incident, while others were more understanding, including Joshua Benton, the former Director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University.
Wow — this is awful.
For the record, @Harvard has no school of journalism, no department of journalism, and no professors of journalism.
— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) January 15, 2021
He described the incident as “awful,” but clarified that although the university is home to the Nieman Journalism Lab, it does not have a “journalism-specific faculty or classes.”
Another social media user had already pointed out back in September 2020 that Razdan’s name did “not appear in the Master Faculty List yet” and that the course was not listed, despite the journalist prematurely declaring her new position in her Twitter bio.
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