Ask Leo: Can I Be Traced by my Email Address?

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By Leo Notenboom

I was on craigslist & posted an ad about possibly meeting up with someone. So some guy & I chatted back & forth about meeting up. But than a day or 2 later when I never got back to him to hang out. I basically blew him off because I rethought the idea on meeting someone over the web because he wouldn’t send a photo of himself also his wife was out of town, so he could possibly hook up with people while she was around. He was calling me out saying I’m a fraud for not showing up to hang out and that he wants to report me to the police for messing up his day off. But the only way of contact he has is my email, is there anyway I can be tracked just from my email? When my email doesn’t have any info on what my home address or phone number is? Also I was thinking what if i just delete that email address? If it’s deleted he won’t be able to keep sending messages to me threatening to be reported?

I’m glad you rethought what you were doing.

The short answer is that yes, it’s quite possible you could be found by just your email address. It could be very easy, or it could be nearly impossible. Exactly how difficult it might be depends on how you’ve used your email address and what information you’ve put in public places.

Oh, and whether or not you’ve broken the law.

You might start by searching for your email address on the internet. (Most search engines don’t let you search for your exact email address, treating “@” and “.” as if they were spaces, but it’s a start – especially if your email address is unique). Now realize that anything you find associated with your email address is something that anyone can find if they’re trying to track you down.

The worst case would be something like a standard “name and address” listing:

Your Name

Your Email address

Your Physical address

Your Phone number

If you’ve posted, or allowed to be posted, information like that, then absolutely anyone can quickly and easily find you.

In fact, the person you’re talking to knows several other things about you besides your email address:

Your name (unless you took care to hide it, which I assume you did not)

Your general location (since I assume you were looking to meet someone in your own general area)

Combine those and it’s more data for someone to go on.

Something people overlook a lot

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2 thoughts on “Ask Leo: Can I Be Traced by my Email Address?

  1. If he keeps threatening you tell him you know his wife and when he is all done feeding you threats and other nonsense you are going to turn all of it over to her and smile. Bet he backs off in a hurry.

    It’s like robbing a thief really what can the guy do but assume your not kidding and leave you alone.

  2. Standing somebody up may be bad manners, but it’s not a felony, a misdemeanor, or even a civil tort! In any case, he’s cheating on his wife; so he’ll not want to go to the police. And do you really want to hang out with a man who’s that childish?

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