How to Find Out Who Owns an Email Address
From time to time, you may receive an email message from an email address that you have no idea to whom it belongs. In such times, it is not impossible to track down who owns an email address and we will explain how to do that in this tutorial.
If you have an old email address, most probably you are getting dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every single day and most of them come from people you don't know. A large amount of these emails are spam and the majority of spam emails either don't contain any contact details or use fake information such as an invalid email or a fake sender name.
In general, you shouldn't worry about who sends these spam emails but in some cases you may need to find out who the sender is. In such cases, it can be difficult to find out who owns an email address especially if the email doesn't provide any type of contact info and replying the email doesn't work.
Validate the Email Address
You can do a couple of things to look for the owner of an email address, but before starting your research, it is better to make sure that the email address is valid. Below is two free online tools to check whether or not an email address is valid:
Now, let's continue with finding out the owner.
The first thing you can do to find out who owns an email address is to make a search on a search engine. Let's say the email address you are looking for the owner is email@example.com. Go to your favorite search engine and type in "firstname.lastname@example.org" in the search box including the double quotes and press Enter.
If the search engine has web pages in its index with that email address on, they will be listed. If you are lucky, you may be able to find the owner of the email address from these search results. Some people make their email addresses and names available on social networks or forums or on their own websites.
Email Lookup Services
There are a lot of email lookup services. As opposed to what is being advertised on some websites, there seems to be no totally free email address lookup tools. There are paid ones and their reliability or accuracy may vary.
If you choose to use such a service, make sure that there are others who used it and got good results. What makes the paid email lookup services' reliability questionable is that unless a person intentionally displays their email and name info publicly, nobody can, or has the right to, display this information anywhere. It is also possible that the name/email details of a person are stolen by hackers and distributed on some illegal websites. So, unless you are sure that a paid email lookup service is a legit and accurate one, our advice would be to stay away from them.
People Search Engines
Another thing you can do is to go to a people search engine such as Pipl.com and search for the owner of the email. If that person has his/her name available on some of the social networks or profile websites, then Pipl.com will return this information.
Whois Domain Lookup
Some emails are sent from a website owned by an individual and they are in this format: email@example.com. In that case, you can search for the owner on domain lookup sites like Who.is. If the domain name is not privacy protected, you can see the contact details of the registrar. You can also check our tutorial about finding the owner of a website for detailed information on this.
Serious Email Issues
If there is a serious problem like a legal or financial issue or a threat coming from an email sent by an unknown person, you should contact your local authorities and ask for their expert help to find the owner of that email and help you further.
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