Former NDTV journalist Nidhi Razdan has opened up on being scammed by a fake teaching job offer from Harvard University. In a blog post, Razdan said that she still kicked herself ‘for being such an idiot.’
Writing for NDTV, Razdan said that she was first approached with a job offer way back on December 2019 when she visited the Harvard Kennedy School for an event in early 2020. She wrote, “One of the apparent organisers of this event contacted me separately to say there was a vacancy for a teaching position and would I be interested. I submitted my CV, thinking I had nothing to lose by trying. I never really expected anything to come of it.”
A few weeks later, Razdan continued, she was interviewed online for 90 minutes, adding that the entire exercise looked legitimate as questions being asked were ‘thorough and professional.’
Contrary to criticism, Razdan said that she had performed a basic Google search to find that the university indeed offered a journalism degree programme through Harvard Extension School and many working journalists from around the world were hired as faculty members.
” The Extension School lists 500 faculty of whom 17 are categorised as journalism faculty. A number of these people are working journalists. I believed I fit this profile,” Razdan continued in her NDTV blog.
According to her, the alarm bell began ringing when the promised salary was never transferred in September. Her ’employer’ sent her a bank transfer slip ‘even though no money ever came.’
Razdan said that she wrote the head of HR at Harvard but didn’t hear back. She then wrote to the office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences earlier this month. It was at this point when she was told that she had fallen victim to fraud as Harvard denied any record of her appointment.
Razdan said that she was ‘angry, disappointed and upset but also relieved’ that she found out what was going on and ‘alerted authorities including Harvard before any serious damage was done.’ She concluded her blog by saying, “If after all this the only thing I can be accused of is being stupid, then I’ll take it on the chin, learn from it and move on.”
Razdan on Friday sensationally claimed that she had fallen victim to a sophisticated phishing attack, which led her to believe that she had been offered a job with Harvard University as an Assistant Professor of Journalism.
Taking to Twitter, Razdan had written, “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.”
Former Director of Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University had reacted in shock to Razdan’s revelation. Joshua Benton had tweeted to clarify that Harvard University had ‘no school of journalism, no department of journalism, and no professors of journalism.’