We are going out on a limb here and approximating that most email addresses leave little to no room for identifying the actual owner of the email. At the same time, bogus info is provided when signing up for an email account, which makes identifying the owner almost impossible. There are, however, ways to look deeper into an email address, simply posing a question via email or performing some online searches. And all these techniques also happen to be free of charge.
The easiest and most straightforward way of finding out who owns a specific email account is to send an email and ask. Introduce yourself and politely state that you would like to know who is behind the email address – ask for a name. Signalhire can also be an amazing tool that can be used as a search engine and much more.
You might be wondering why Myspace? Isn’t that an antiquated social media platform? Why would we bother to perform a search there out of all places? Well, the answer is quite simple. The Internet does not forget, and their accounts never get deleted. So, whoever you are looking for might have had a MySpace account while it was popular, and they never did anything about it. You have found out their identity based on their own inability to cover tracks easily. Plenty of people have accounts they forgot ever existed. And let’s face it, whoever is trying to get in contact with you via email, will most likely not be a teenager, so they most likely had a MySpace account at some point.
If the first method did not succeed or you believe that the information you were provided with is untrue, then you can perform a free email search. Various online sites offer a free email search service. For example, you can find email addresses over on MySpace, and check what names are associated with the email address. Simply open MySpace.com in a browser and click on the “Find Friends” tab that is located in the top right corner of the screen.
Enter the email address and press the “Search” button. You will be presented with a list of links to Myspace sites where the said email has appeared. Follow each link and look for names that are associated with that specific email address.
You can also perform a reverse email search. Pipl, a search engine that also targets the deep web, offers a free of charge reverse email search. Simply open Pipl.com in your browser, find the “Email” link, paste in the email address, and click on search. You will receive a complete list of places the email address pops up. There are online sites, various documents, and any other places an email might appear coupled with the names associated with it. If you happen to stumble upon a phone number, you can see how to find phone numbers through extensions by following the link.
Craiglist sites are a goldmine of information because there are millions of ads from cities all over the world (mainly the US). It is easy to use and, most importantly, free. You can just head over to searchallcraigs.com, provide an email address, and click on the “Search” button. Next, just look over the results by clicking on every link and verifying the names that are linked to that email address.
Another important tool is tracking the IP address of the sender. If the email you receive is anonymous, then look towards the email headers where you will find the IP address. The IP address is unique and is directly related to the device that has been used to send the email. Then head over to Reverse DNS lookup, and you will receive all the information available about that specific IP address. You will not be given the name, however, you will be able to know where they are located. This helps immensely when narrowing down the search.
The most important thing about Facebook is its massive user base. One billion users make a very high chance that the sender also has a profile on Facebook.
Facebook is also different from other social networks because it allows you to search for a user by email address. Simply paste the email address of the sender in the Facebook search box, and you will simply be presented with the Facebook account that was created using that given email address.
If you have managed to score a hit and the person indeed has a Facebook account, then you should download one of their pictures (the one that seems to have the most traction and is likely to have been used elsewhere) and perform a reverse image search on it. Other social media profiles that have been created using the same photos, will instantly pop up.
Other Social Network Platforms
There is a very helpful tool called Knowem, that is capable of searching all over the web if there is an account with the same name on any other social media platform.
If they have an email that is something like email@example.com, there is a high probability that the same person has created similar accounts on other social media platforms using the same “yellow_bathtub” alias. Knowem.com is a tool that can verify this information. People generally tend to stick to a username they consider to be witty. Or simply never bothered to look for a different username because their initial one always comes in handy, and they simply use it by default.
If you are using Gmail.com, you can install an app called Rapportive as an add-on. This tool will display all the profiles associated with Twitter or LinkedIn that have been created using that specific email address.