How can I identify the sender of anonymous eMails?

MacCanWin June 13, 2010
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Lately, I have been receiving some eMails from anonymous senders. Is there any way to catch who the sender is? Thanks.

  1. Ariel
    June 20, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Don't open suspicious emails, instead on the unopened email, right click and open Properties. Open "Details" or similar, not the simple opening window, and right click/Select All/Copy and Paste the contents onto a Word file or onto a new blank email. Now, click on Message Source (that's a window perhaps with another name if not using OE) and right click/SELECT ALL/COPY/PASTE into the Word doc. There you have all the 'traveling' infomation.

    Now, you can merely email your ISP or all indicated on the copy (except the return email adderss!), and address the email to abuse@name of isp.com. In the Subject window, type in SPAM - ABUSE, and send. You'll most likely received a very long, detailed message back about how to avoid SPAM, ignore that - it's an autoreply. The ISP has your email and will direct it to their security people to look at. Google takes days and days to respond though, so don't how out much hope from them.

  2. Ryan Dube
    June 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    You will be somewhat out of luck if the person is using a proxy server to send emails to you. However you still have the option to contact the email service that the email tends to be coming from and let them know about the activity. I've shut down a spammer before (the only one I've ever been able to shut down in this way), by contacting the ISP being used as a relay (you can see this in the header) and letting them know that their service is being hijacked.

    Your options to stop the person from harassing you (if they are harassing you) is limited to what part of the header you can identify as real - the faked part either due to a forged header or just a fake proxy IP. If you're VERY lucky, the person won't cover their tracks and the IP could resolve to the same IP as a regular email from one of your friends. You have to take the time to compare the "anonymous" email IP to the IP addresses with your existing friends & colleagues though!

    Good luck!

    • Jack Cola
      June 16, 2010 at 4:21 am

      Basically, you have to look at the source (or header) of the email. In firefox, just press control+u and all the information will be provided. If you want help to decphier what it is saying, post the contents up on here.
      If you do, I would recommend carefully reading through at and remove your personal information such as your name and email address. Just mark it with an xxxxx or something. Or you can email me. Main email address can be found on http://www.makeuseof.com/about/

      • meme
        March 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

        Hi Jack, Can you help me. I have a person who sends around a lot of damaging information about me from a fake gmail address. I know who he is, but I need to confirm it. Any idea how that can be done? Thanks. M

  3. Taty
    June 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    You can also usually find the advanced information of the emails, such as the ip by looking for advanced settings by the email address on Gmail for example. You can use the links above to track the ip . Saikat has good links you should follow.

  4. Saikat Basu
    June 14, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Start off by reading this post - How to Trace Your Emails Back to the Source.

    Some other apps which can help you out are listed here - How to Trace an IP Address to a PC & How to Find Your Own.And if the guy is till being a pest here's How To Deal with Spam and Report Email Scams in The U.S.

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