The company I work for got an email out of the blue some time ago that basically consisted of "hello we are Chinese company, we see you do business with other countries, we can help you with business things" and we would have disregarded it, if not for the attachment (redaction mine):

Screenshot of what looks like an import/export manifest, with numerous companies besides ours listed, and information about products we shipped including prices. Has anyone seen a program like this before, and where would information like that have come from?

Not entirely sure if this is the right place to ask, but it seems like that kind of information would (should?) be confidential.

  • 3
    Don't open attachments from sketchy unsolicited emails. They probably have even more of your confidential data now.
    – jesse_b
    Feb 29 at 22:07
  • I'm not aware of any StackExchange site where this would be on-topic.
    – schroeder
    Mar 1 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


Import/ export manifests are frequently public information. There are services (no endorsement implied but they do have an online form that lets you see what sorts of information is available) that aggregate this data. I'd assume that the spammer is taking this data (or the data from the Chinese equivalent) and using that both to target your company and to generate the attachment.

Standard security warning- don't inspect attachments from random spammers. They may not be spammers, they could be sending you a virus that will steal data from your computer.

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