New Delhi, January 15: Six months after popular television journalist and news anchor Nidhi Razdan announced on social media that she will be quitting NDTV to take up a teaching position at Harvard University, she has revealed that she was a victim of a sophisticated phishing attack.
The senior journalist who has worked in television for over two decades, was told in June 2020 she would be posted as Associate Professor at the University. But after multiple delays in the posting and “administrative anomalies” in the process, she reached out to Harvard University, only to find out that she was scammed.
Nidhi shared on her official Twitter handle that she had last year begun preparing for the new assignment that was due to start in September 2020, but was later told that due to the ongoing pandemic, classes at Harvard would commence in January 2021. “Along with these delays, I began noticing a number of administrative anomalies in the process being described to me,” Nidhi wrote.
“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 an even more disquieting nature. As a result, I reached out to 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,” Nidhi said in a statement issued on Twitter on Friday.
This is when she realised that she had become a 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,” Nidhi said in her statement.
Nidhi shared that she has filed a complaint with the police and has 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 written to the Harvard University authorities and urged them to take the matter seriously,” she said.
Nidhi added that she has also written to individuals and organizations with whom I have been in touch with over the past few months to keep them informed. “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,” Nidhi added.
Phishing scams are usually frauds perpetrated by sending emails or communication by pretending to be from a certain company or organisation to trick people into disclosing personal information.
In India, job scams are prevalent, especially on popular sites such as Naukri.com and Indeed where fake job offers are posted and applicants are approached claiming to be from the job site then made to pay to get the job, or to even schedule an interview.
In such instances, the perpetrators of the fraud use personal information to trick people into believing that their offers are real, with their mode of communication such as email IDs being strikingly similar to that of the job site or the company.
Many reactions have been pouring in, “Hope they catch whoever was responsible for this scam. I presume it was a high level of sophistry. Especially if a http://Harvard.edu account was used,” author Aparna Jain wrote.
(Courtesy: The News Minute)