How to find the owner of a GMail address – Reverse email lookup



Question:

We have a need for finding the owner of a GMAIL address. Could you help? How much would it cost us?

Answer:

Google Gmail does not have a user directory. Further, Google will not release a Gmail account owner’s personal info, including name, without a court order. With that said, if you are reporting illegal activity, or the user is causing harm or maliciousness in some way, you can indeed work with your local authorities to open a court order. Find Google’s language on these specifics at this link.

If this is not an option, and you simply need to find a person for non-abuse reasons (and simply emailing them won’t work), then perform a search on their email or portions of their email address. Many people use the same information across multiple accounts. For example, “johnsmith31415@gmail.com” may also have a FaceBook account called “JohnSmith31415″. This is the type of relational search you could try that may show results.

Finally, there are services that perform a fee-based “reverse email lookup“. That is, you give them some money and an email address, and they give you information about the owner of the account. I personally have never used such services, so have no idea of they’re legitimate or useful.

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4 Comments

  1. Shelly Marshall:

    Very good info and truthful! I was trying to find “angry redneck” at gmail who is leaving abusive emails and now I know I probably won’t find them “angryhick55@gmail.com” so I won’t go on a futile search!

  2. Chuck:

    I agree with Shelly above. It’s unfortunate that an individual can’t do a reverse look-up to verify that respondents to classified ads are legitimate, especially when in their replies to classified postings they have two email addresses and several names. I recently posted an ad on Craig’s list and got a reply from someone who stated they were at work (email address showed up as: From: Tarah Gardner but asked me to email “her” at home, so “she” could send me a photo of an item I was looking for, cause “she” couldn’t respond from work (funny, because “she” just did), gave a home email address as: louiseholly104+56456@gmail.com and signed the reply: Marilyn. In using some of the free email search engines I came across registrations for these email addresses as Frankfort Maine and Sunnyvale California. Just a bit too fishy to follow up with “her” request for a reply. Thanks for the information on absence of a Google directory. Maybe someone could start a searchable database of questionable or bogus email address.

  3. Elisabeth:

    Yeah tell me about it, I’ve had three different website accounts hacked all by the same person. I have reason to believe its personal. All I know so far is that the persons email is “mkpmkp12@gmail.com” and they clearly don’t have a life. I’m trying to find out who it is, and it is mildly difficult.

  4. Sherry Yeager:

    If this is still valid, here’s a blurb I saw on the net:

    “There are three common reasons why Gmail users think they’re receiving someone else’s mail.
    Reason one:Your address is similar but has more or fewer dots (.) or different capitalization.
    Sometimes you may receive a message sent to an address that looks like yours but has a different number or arrangement of periods. While we know it might be unnerving if you think someone else’s mail is being routed to your account, don’t worry: both of these addresses are yours.
    Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they’ll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In short:
    homerjsimpson@gmail.com = hom.er.j.sim.ps.on@gmail.com
    homerjsimpson@gmail.com = HOMERJSIMPSON@gmail.com
    homerjsimpson@gmail.com = Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com
    All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot from it. You’ll still go to your account.
    If you get mail that seems to be intended for someone else, it’s likely that the sender entered the wrong address, just like if you’ve ever dialed a wrong phone number for someone. In these cases, we suggest contacting the original sender or website when possible to alert them to the mistake.
    One last thing: Google Apps does recognize dots. If you’d like to have a dot in your username, please ask your domain administrator to add your preferred username as a nickname.”

    Now, this doesn’t mean that people aren’t exploiting this, so take care.