Allison here, with AllClear ID. In March, there was tons of spam relating to St. Patrick’s Day. In April, spammers used Easter to lure unsuspecting people with Easter gift deals and coupons. With three major holidays in the month of May (Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day), people need to be prepared for spam that wishes well to our mothers and our armed forces.

There’s a new trend in spam where spammers utilize major holidays and events to entice people. Most recently, the launch of the iPad3 was used as well as St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. An example of St. Patrick’s Day involved Leprechaun-themed spam websites, which presented counterfeit designer watches. For Easter, emails presented Easter cards and diverted people to a themed web site. We predict that May will see a lot of themed spam as well, so be weary of anything offering Mother’s Day cards, or a Cinco de Mayo website presenting handbags or other designer goods.

We’ve previously discussed ways to look for spam, but the next step is to avoid forwarding it to others. A Mother’s Day card or gift email could seem like something useful to send to a friend or family member, but if the email is spam, you’re putting that person in jeopardy. Since the email came from someone he/she knew, that person may be more likely to click on a malicious link or to go to a malicious website. That person could then have a stolen identity, or could have a computer saddled with malware.

If you want to send someone a Mother’s Day gift or a Memorial Day card, then don’t do it by forwarding something from your email. Take the time to write the email yourself, or pick up a card from the store. That way, you can be sure that you’re not sending anything with a virus on it.