Email scams are getting more difficult to recognize. They pretend to be your friend or legitimate services, tricking you to click malicious links or give away sensitive information. So whenever you receive a suspicious email, it’s wise to run a scammer email lookup and identify the sender.
Method 1 – Seek confirmation from official channel
Scammers employ diverse tactics to deceive unsuspecting individuals with emails, which pretend to be from a well-known source you like or trust. For example, an elderly user fell victim to an Amazon impersonation scam, resulting in a fraudulent charge of $2501. A traveler also shared his experience of receiving a bogus hotel reservation email from booking.com that requested credit card information2.
While lots of scam emails are obvious, with misspellings, grammatical errors, randomly capitalized words, and incoherent messages, others prove insidious, using authentic-looking domains and meticulously designed pages. You can cross-reference the previous emails from the company to examine the details.
To verify an email’s legitimacy, simply go straight to the website and check your account, instead of clicking any links in the email, or confirm with the company’s customer support directly.
Method 2 – Run a reverse email search
You can use a dedicated email search tool to locate the person or entity behind an email address quickly. Here are the best 3 services known for their data accuracy and ease of use.
Option 1 – BeenVerified
BeenVerified is a popular online people search engine. It scours numerous public data from leading sources and allows the general public to access it. You can look up an unknown email or phone number to know who’s the owner and perform an in-depth background search on the person.
Option 2 – Social Catfish
Social Catfish is dedicated to verifying an individual’s real identity and catching scammers on social media or dating sites. Similar to BeenVerified, it features a variety of search tools – by name, phone number, and email. By employing advanced image data and proprietary technology, it even allows you to look up images.
Option 3 – Spokeo
Originally a social media aggregator, Spokeo has grown into a well-known background check service. It integrates a suite of search options and provides you instant access to billions of verified public records. By searching with an email, you may find the person on 120+ popular networks and social media platforms.
Steps to look up an unknown email
A reverse email lookup tool is relatively straightforward to use. Here I’ll take BeenVerified as an example to guide you through the steps and show you what information you can expect.
1. Go to the BeenVerified email search page.
2. Input the email address you want to navigate and click Search.
3. The website will scan for information related to the email address, which may take around 3 – 5 minutes. Once done, you’ll get a detailed report that identifies the possible email owner and contains a wealth of information such as the person’s photos, phone numbers, address history, professional and educational background, as well as social media profiles.
Next to the potential owner’s name, you can click Search person to obtain his/her background report. It may include additional records such as bankruptcies, and criminal or traffic history.
Method 3 – Google it
People search tools can reveal a great amount of data beyond the reach of conventional search engines. However, such service often comes at a cost. For free alternatives, Google is a good place to start.
Simply enter an email address in the Google search bar. You can wrap the query with quotation marks to locate the exact matches when there are too many irrelevant results. If the email address has been reported or is present in public scammer databases, Google will lead you to those sources.
Additionally, you can search for the email address on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Some users would willingly disclose the scammer’s email addresses to prevent other people from falling victim to fraudulent activities.
Method 4 – Take advantage of scammer databases
There are some online databases designed to help people identify scammers and avoid fraudulent activities. They’re open to receiving complaints and reports from victims, which make up an extensive online database of possible scammers. Simply by searching keywords like scammer email database or list of scammer emails in Google, you’ll find a great many websites.
Crowd-sourced websites have not been verified by officials and may not be 100% reliable or up-to-date. And data from each website might be limited, so it’s recommended that you cross-check suspicious emails across multiple sources.
What to do with possible scammer emails?
Sometimes we’re not able to identify email scams at first look. A user who unintentionally shared her bank account information and personal email, had no idea whether the situation should be a cause of concern3. That raises the question: what can scammers do with such sensitive information and what to do to prevent potential risks?
For non-sensitive information like name, phone number, or email address, you don’t have to worry too much as these details are often publicly accessible. You can report the phishing email to firstname.lastname@example.org, contributing to the fight against online scams.
If you gave critical payment information like Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, you’d be extra vigilant. The instructions by identitytheft.gov propose the steps take for different types of information exposed.
So here is how to run a scammer email lookup and recognize the sender. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.
Scammer Email Search
Look up owner’s name, contact, social media and more.
- GinaQuiroz10. (2023, November 29). Exactly, my mom got scammed one year(NOT A ROMANCE SCAM)but an email saying it was from Amazon and [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/GinaQuiroz10/status/1729679856990822735?s=20 ↩︎
- Tourist Scams [Lisuza] (2023, August 2) Almost fell for a scam on booking site ….. be smarter than me. [Online forum post]. ricksteves.com. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tourist-scams/almost-fell-for-a-scam-on-booking-site-be-smarter-than-me ↩︎
- r/UKPersonalFinance [eatqqq]. I provided a scammer my bank account info and personal e-mail, should I be concerned? [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/UKPersonalFinance/comments/153sxqv/i_provided_a_scammer_my_bank_account_info_and/ ↩︎
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