If you’ve received an email from someone you’ve never contacted before and you would like to investigate and learn more about the sender before responding, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll explore a few strategies for identifying a Gmail account owner. Read on and find out what they are…
Try these methods:
1. Make Your Best Guess
Before we dive into anything deeper, take a look at that email address to see if you can find any potential indications of the owner’s identity. Many people use their names or social media handles to create their email addresses. If it appears to be a name or username, consider searching it on Google. If the email address seems randomly generated with no identifiable elements, try the method below.
2. Google it
Google can also be used as a reverse search tool to find people-related information. Simply enter the email address and hit Search to see if Google can retrieve any matching information. When doing this, remember to put the email address between quotes, for example, type “email@example.com”.
This will filter out vague search results and provide you with web pages featuring the exact email address. If Google fails to provide fruitful results, try the next method.
3. Check social media
Social media can be a great place to conduct reverse email lookups, as many people use their email addresses to create their profiles and make them public. So, there is a chance that you could find a person’s profile on social media platforms by searching their email address. We’ll show you how to search on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter in this tutorial.
Search on LinkedIn
LinkedIn aggregates people’s and company’s information in one place. It can provide you with useful information tied to individuals, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and business contact resources.
Although LinkedIn doesn’t make this easy, it is possible to pull up someone’s profile using their email address. Following are the steps to reveal a LinkedIn user’s identity through their email address. To proceed, you would need a Microsoft Outlook account and a LinkedIn Account – both registered with the same email.
- Go to Outlook and log into your account.
- Click the People icon on the left, then click New contact.
- Fill in the First Name as you want and the Email address whose profile you’re looking for, then click Create.
- Go back to your Contact page and click the contact you just created. Click LinkedIn and log in to your account to connect your Microsoft Outlook account to your Microsoft LinkedIn account.
- Back to Outlook and you can see the LinkedIn profile of the email address you were searching for! Click See full profile on LinkedIn button to view it on LinkedIn.
If no profile shows up, it means no LinkedIn account is linked to that email address. Read on to find out how to search for someone’s Facebook page using their email address.
Search on Facebook
Facebook is the largest social networking website with hundreds of millions of users worldwide, so the likelihood is quite high that the email address owner may have a Facebook account. Facebook lets you search for users by email address, which should make your search simpler.
- Go to Facebook or open the app on your mobile device.
- Type the email address of the person you want to find into the Facebook search field and press the Enter key.
You won’t be able to find results if the person you’re looking for doesn’t connect the email address with his/her profile, or if the person chooses not to list the email address as public in their About info.
Search on Twitter
Twitter doesn’t allow users to directly search for profiles using email addresses. However, there is a workaround where you can import your email contacts to Twitter and find the Twitter profiles associated with those email addresses, if available. Before we begin, ensure you add the email you want to track to your contacts. Then, follow the instructions below to learn how to add people through emails on Twitter:
- Open the Twitter app.
- Go to Menu > More > Settings and Privacy > Privacy and safety > Discoverability and Contacts.
- Turn on Sync address book contacts and grant Twitter permission to access your contacts if asked.
Twitter will upload your contacts and use those contacts as suggestions for whom to follow. So, if the person you’re looking for uses the same email address on Twitter, you’ll be able to find their profile page. This route might not work for you if the person is not on social media or is not using that particular email address to register their accounts.
4. Try a people search
If all else fails, try a people search tool like BeenVerified.
People search tools are designed specifically to look up individuals’ information using other details you know about them, such as their name, email address, home address, phone number, or social network username. These tools aggregate information from government public records, social network profiles, and other online directories, providing a one-stop shop for information tied to individuals.
We’ve tried several people search tools, and below are the reverse email lookup reports we got from some of the most popular ones. However, note that there is no guarantee that you’ll find the same amount of information in your search, and these tools may not always yield accurate results. The report could be incorrect or incomplete, so please use these tools simply as a resource for gathering information and verify the results on your own.
Our favorite reverse email lookup is BeenVerified. In our tests, it provided a treasure trove of information with just a few clicks, and almost never completely failed to find someone.
Using the tool is simple – all you need to do is type the email address into the search box and then click Search Now.
Note that BeenVerified is a subscription-based service, and is ridiculously slow for non-subscribers! The search process is slower than 58% of the other paid people search tools we’ve tested. It took us six minutes to get to the point where the site prompted us to buy a detailed report or a subscription. During that whole time, it displayed an endless series of unnecessary ‘Searching Databases’ animations and notifications – which is a common tactic among most paid search tools for non-subscribers. This strategy is designed to make you think they’re working harder than the competition or that they have access to more data.
After purchasing a membership, BeenVerified provides us with a list of possible owners of that email address. Clicking Search person reveals a detailed background report on the person.
The background report might include the person’s full name, age, contact details, current and full address, professional history, court records, and many more when available. You can scroll down the report, or click a link in the Overview to jump to that section.
Click an option in the toolbar at the top of the report if you want to do more. For example, click Monitor to enable BeenVerified to notify you when more information is added to the person’s report. Note that the ‘Criminal or Traffic’ and ‘Bankruptcies’ sections in the Overview will have stars next to them when you first view the report, not numbers as illustrated above. This is because you have to agree not to use this information for any purpose prohibited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Once you agree, you’ll see numbers here.
Spokeo is one of the most well-known people search tools. This service gathers all available information from public sources and stores it in one database, providing an easy way to confidentially look up information about anyone.
To bypass the unnecessary search animation, consider purchasing a membership if you decide to give Spokeo a try. For subscribed users, the results are generated in mere seconds. We noticed that Spokeo’s reverse email search results vary from those of other services we tested, highlighting potential social media accounts associated with the email address. During our test, this tool excels in locating social networks, blog posts, and other web-based traces.
Clicking the VIEW MORE SOCIAL RESULTS link allows you to explore possible social media profiles owned by the person. From there you can see if you can find any identifying information about the individual.
Alternatively, you can click the SEE RESULTS button to view a detailed background report on the possible owners. The report might reveal information such as the person’s current and past addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social media profiles, court records, and more.
Social Catfish is another powerful people search tool, boasting one of the most comprehensive collections of public records, dating site profiles, and background information. It allows you to verify the identity of someone you’ve met online, check someone’s profiles on different social media/dating sites, and view detailed background information using just an email address.
Similar to BeenVerified and Spokeo, if you don’t have a paid account with Social Catfish already, the tool is incredibly slow and you won’t be able to read the full report after the long wait unless you purchase a membership. Once subscribed, you can click the See Complete Results button of the closest match to access the full report.
The report might reveal the possible owner’s name, aliases, addresses, contact details, social media profiles, criminal records, and more.
Finding someone’s information online can be challenging, especially when your only lead is a Gmail address. If you want to learn more about who sent you an email, begin with basic techniques such as examining the email address, conducting a Google search, or searching social networks. If these efforts prove insufficient, try a reverse email lookup tool to see if you can gather any details about the sender. Hopefully, this post helped. If you happen to find a reliable way to perform a reverse email lookup, please pass on your findings in the comments.