Have you ever wondered how to track the IP address of an email sender? Doing so can be extremely helpful in helping to determine if someone is trying to scam you. It’s something I’ve begun doing since attempting to both find a sublet and also find someone to sublease our apartment.
For most email addresses, you can look up the email header. If you have a Yahoo email address, right click on the email in your Inbox. Choose View Full Header. What at first looks like a bunch of gibberish, will pop up in a small screen.
If you’re using Gmail, click the inverted triangle that’s displayed next to Reply. Click Show Original. If you use Hotmail, right click on the email and select View Message Source.
AOL uses a slightly different process. Open the email and click the Action button at the top. Choose View Message Source.
Once you have the full header information, you can read through it in order to find the IP address, but keep in mind that this will only work for emails other than Gmail. For security purposes, Gmail keeps the ID of the sender confidential. Find where it says Received: – the IP address will be listed after it. If Received: is listed more than once, look at the last one.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking at or you don’t feel like reading through the header, you can copy and paste the information using a website that will read it for you. Try IP Address Location or Arul’s Tech Info.
I researched all of the above information and of course came to a dead end, because Mr. Kehoe was using a Gmail account. That’s when I came across an awesome free site called SpyPig. SpyPig makes it even easier. Simply plug in your email address and copy and paste the subject information from the email you’re about to send and want to track into the provided space. You now have two options. You can either choose one of the icon pictures provided or upload your own from your computer. If you’re going to use one of theirs, I would go with the white square, because it blends in better with the email so that the person doesn’t know you’re tracking them. The best option is for you to use your own (a smiley face or some other small icon that looks like it is part of your email).
Once you tell it to generate your SpyPig, you’ll have 60 seconds to copy the image that it generates and put it into the body of the email. I found that this works best if I have the email open and ready to send. Simply right click on the SpyPig and choose Copy. Choose a spot within the email (if it’s the white square, put it at the end), right click and select Paste. The image will be pasted directly into the body of the email. Click Send and wait.
Once the email is opened, SpyPig will track it. You’ll receive a notification in your email from SpyPig letting you know that the email has been read, as well as how many times it’s been opened and the IP address of the sender. It will also give you an approximate location and information about the sender. If you’re worried about a scammer, this is one of the fastest ways to find out if they’re telling you the truth.
If you want to go a step further, take the IP address and search for more information on it. You can do this by going to sites that allow you to search for information about an IP address. UltraTools has a great selection of tracking tools and you can use their IP-Geo Location Tracking Tool for free.
When I searched for the IP address of my apartment scammer, I found a bit more specific information than SpyPig:
Country Code: NG
Country CF: 86
State CF: 23
Postal Code: 100002
Timezone: Greenwich Mean Time
City CF: 23
If you’re dealing with emails that could be potential scammers, don’t waste time emailing back and forth. Instead, implant a SpyPig tracker into all emails that could potentially be scammers. Now that I’ve discovered this online tool, I put one in all apartment rental related emails. That way I don’t waste time answering questions or getting my hopes up about a potential opportunity. I can weed out the scammers immediately.
Worried about how accurate SpyPig is? Well, it worked on me. Before I used it I tried it on an email to myself and it pinpointed my location exactly. It even listed my Internet provider. Good luck and keep checking back this week for more information about tracking down online scammers.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there will be times that SpyPig doesn’t work. For example, if one or both of you are not using an HTML-formatted email. For the purposes of tracking Gmail messages, it worked great for me.
Coming Up: Look for the next post: ARE THESE APARTMENT PHOTOS LEGITIMATE? LEARN HOW TO DO A SIMPLE ONLINE CHECK – COMING SOON!