How to track anonymous emails to find email sender
This article is created with thanks to Rexxfield. If you need assistance with tracking anonymous people on the internet, Rexxfield’s Cyber Investigators can help. You can view their track record here.
It’s remarkably simple to send emails anonymously. You can hide your IP address and sometimes even make it look as if the email comes from someone else’s IP address. Unfortunately, many people abuse this to threaten, stalk or abuse someone online.
We deal with finding anonymous email senders all the time. Often, the receivers are afraid, stressed or angry. However, never act from emotions. By doing so, you may trigger your antagonist even more, which may result in further harassment and online attacks.
• Always stay calm and respond appropriately to anonymous emails. They can be annoying, distressing and even frightening. But responding in anger or with abusive language can escalate conflicts and may even get you in legal trouble.
How to find sender of anonymous email
You can trace an email address to the sender by studying the full email header. The email header contains routing information and email metadata. This is information you usually wouldn’t care about. But that information allows you to trace the source of the email. The date you need to locate is the IP address.
The IP address location information DOES NOT give you a street name, house number, or phone number. The trace will most likely give you the city and the (Internet Service Provider) ISP the sender used.
Find the IP address of email sender in Gmail
Unfortunately, Google does not provide IP addresses in the header anymore. To find the IP address of email sender in Gmail, you will have to submit a court order to Google.
If you know the sender’s Internet Service Provider, you can ask them to forward the IP address. Find a comprehensive listing of Internet Service Providers and contact details here.
Find IP address of email sender in Outlook
- Double-click the anonymous email to open it in a new window
- Click the three dots in the top right. Then select “Message source.” This will open the full header of the email.
- Look for “Received: from”. The IP address will follow in a series of numbers and dots.
Find IP address of email sender in Yahoo Mail
- Open the anonymous email
- Click the cogwheel icon with the arrow. Open the “more actions” menu
- Click “View Full Headers”
- Look for Received: from. Most likely, the IP address will follow. If there are many mentions of Received: from with the IP address, choose the IP address in the last pattern. In case there are no mentions of Received: from with the IP address, choose the first IP address in X-Originating-IP.
What do do with the IP address of an anonymous email sender
When you located the IP address from the anonymous email sender, you can find out where the sender is based. There are several resources to do so. We recommend using InfoSniper. InfoSniper is a web API geolocation service that allows you to geolocate an IP address.
Keep in mind that the sender could be hiding behind proxies, in which case it will give a false location.
If you suspect the sender to be someone you know, you can compare the IP address with other emails from that person. Or narrow it down by identifying the location of the sender.
Finding anonymous ProtonMail email sender
If the anonymous email sender is a little more sophisticated, you are likely dealing with a ProtonMail sender. ProtonMail is a popular email service because of the security and anonymity it provides to the users. Because of the encryption, IP addresses are hidden.
Although complicated and time-consuming, there is still a way to identify the anonymous sender behind ProtonMail. We have done so for our clients and are happy to assist if you need our help. Contact our investigative department to discuss your case.
Tips when receiving an anonymous email
• Always save anonymous or harassing emails and keep a detailed account of all the information you find. This may be useful if you need to take legal action later on.
• When emails are abusive or threatening, talk to the authorities.