“I have been the victim of a very serious phishing attack.”
A prominent Indian journalist who left her job as a lead national news anchor for a teaching post at Harvard has discovered the offer was a hoax.
Nidhi Razdan revealed in a Twitter post on Friday that she had been the victim of a “very serious phishing attack”, and that the job offer in fact never existed.
Razdan, who worked for media giant NDTV for 21 years, announced in June that she was leaving her high-profile position to join the Ivy League university as an Associate Professor of Journalism.
“I had been given to believe that I would be joining the University in September 2020,” she wrote. “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.”
While at first she shrugged off the anomalies as just part of the “new normal” amid the pandemic, she said things began to get stranger.
So she reached out to senior authorities at Harvard University “for clarity”; they asked her to send back some of the correspondence she had received.
“After hearing from the University, I have now learnt that I have been the victim of a sophisticated and coordinated phishing attack,” she wrote. “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 since alerted police, in the hopes they “identify, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of this abominable attack.”
“I’m putting this statement out to set the record straight about what I’ve been through,” she added. “I will not be addressing this issue any further on social media.”
However, three hours later she did address it again — to thank followers for the messages of support.
The University itself has not commented on the ordeal, but Joshua Benton, the former director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, confirmed that the university doesn’t even have a school of journalism, or a department of journalism, or any professors of journalism:
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