Reverse Email Search: What, Why, and How?

Updated October 6, 2023

How many times have you come across an email address with no name associated with it? If you’re an active user on the internet – which most of us are – you would have faced this situation often. It is annoying to have no idea who you’re dealing with, and it can sometimes even be essential to find the identity of the person behind that email address. Thanks to a number of options available online, it is not too difficult to do a “Reverse Email Search” to connect an email to a real person.

Reverse Email Search

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What is Reverse Email Search?

In a reverse email search, you look for publicly available information about someone, using only his or her email address. The email address could be of any kind – [email protected], [email protected], or even something completely anonymous, like [email protected]. As long as the person has used that email address at some online services like Facebook or on a public page, there is a good chance of a reverse email search being successful.

Why You May Need to Do a Reverse Email Search on Someone?

There could be many situations where you would like to identify the person behind an email. Here are a few examples:

  • You saw the email address on an online ad and want to establish some credibility before doing business with the person
  • A big business opportunity has come through an email and you would like to know more about the person behind it so that you’re better prepared for further discussions, without asking them who they are. Or your replies to them are bouncing back and you would like to find their phone number and give them a call.
  • Someone has been sending a lot of spam to you and you would like to find out more about the offender and then send out a warning
  • Someone has sent you a malicious or threatening email and you would like to identify them before getting the police involved

How to Go About It?

A reverse email search is a little bit different from a regular search on Google. Of course, Google should still be the first place you should go to. But if that doesn’t yield anything, there are several other options that can be quite effective.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding that mystery person behind the anonymous email address:

Step 1: Your first port of call should be Google – the big daddy of search. People sometimes share their email address on a public webpage or in a blog comment. If it’s a corporate email address, it could be mentioned somewhere on the company website. Google would have indexed most of these pages. A simple search for the email should take you to that page, where you might get some information about the person.

Step 2: If Google doesn’t yield anything meaningful, your next option is to try that huge database of people that we love to spend time on – Facebook. It is one of the few services that allow you to search users through their email address. With more than a billion registered users, there’s a pretty high probability the person you’re searching for is also on Facebook. But the question is, did they use the same email address to write to you and to register on Facebook. If they did, then you’re in luck. You will not only have their name, but possibly also their picture, their location, and lots of other information about them.

Step 3: You can take the Facebook search a step further. Save the image of the person and do a reverse image search on Google Image Search or through the TinEye site. Both of these services allow you to upload an image and find other instances of the same or similar images on the web. This could lead you to other social profiles of the person, which could offer some additional information.

Step 4: There are some dedicated people search engines out there – Pipl and Spokeo being the most popular. These services search the web, social profiles, and other public databases like the Whois information linked to domain names. Again, the catch is that the person should have used the same email address on these other places as the one you are searching with. You could easily get the name and a picture of the person in that case. The picture can then also be used for a reverse image search for more information.

To Reverse Email Search or Not to Reverse Email Search?

Whether it is okay to try to look someone up using their email or not depends on what you need their personal information for. If you have a strong enough reason and politely asking them to identify them is not an option (or is not going to work), then go ahead and use this publicly available information. But if that is not the case, don’t waste your time digging up information on someone you don’t have much interest in.

Author Bio:- Jessica Davis is the Content Marketing Head at Godot Media – a leading Content Services firm. She is an expert in creating awesome content for businesses and individuals. She works closely with a team of experts, helping people succeed. She loves travelling and cooking.

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