Indeed, many computer viruses travel around the Internet embedded in carefully crafted PDF files. Instead of opening a potentially dangerous file, I turned to Google to find out more about the mysterious Mrs Susan Goedde.
The first search result led to information that fraudulent emails signed by her were circling the globe, enticing people to send money to claim the prize of “U$$840,000.00 dollars” won in the “Canada-Sizzler Lottery.” These emails were originating from the Czech Republic. This news made me glad that I had not opened the suspicious PDF attachment.
As it turns out, there actually are people in the world named Susan Goedde. Interestingly, one of them is a spokesperson for the Missouri Lottery Association but has nothing to do with the Canada-Sizzler Lottery. A bit more research showed that there is no such thing as the Canada-Sizzler Lottery.
Those simple Google searches settled the issue for me, and I deleted the email, unscathed. I would imagine, though, that the real Susan Goeddes of the world are pretty peeved their names are being used in such a seamy scam.
Dave Moore of Norman has been an independent computer service technician since 1984. He also teaches computer security workshops to public and private organizations. He can be reached at 919-9901 or davemoorecomputers.com.