How do I track down who owns a Gmail account?
I need to find the sender of an email I received that was a death threat and the domain was @gmail.com. I have contacted the police and fear it will take too long for them to find out any information. Is there anyway you can assist me? The email address was firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sounds like a terrible sort of message to receive, no question, but before we start calling in the local SWAT team and explaining to your family why it's time for WitSec, the witness protection program, it's worth asking a few questions.
For example, do you have enemies? More to the point, do you have enemies so passionate that they would actually kill you?
Outside of dramatic movies and TV show actors, I don't know of anyone who actually has enemies so passionate about their health and well-being. Even people who have been abusive of former spouses, people who have had terrible parents, etc. It's a big, big step from "I hate you" to being a credible threat to your life.
Further, it turns out that email death threats are actually the latest scam, depressingly enough. Checking with the Federal Bureau of Investigation reveals that they have sent out a series of press releases warning of just this sort of scam. Most recently as reported by KSBY 6: Death threat email scam.
That story explains: "The FBI first sent out a warning on this scam about a year ago. To date, they have about 115 complaints filed. They say there is no question this is a cruel hoax, and it is best just to delete the message and move on."
You also have to wonder about the email address. I mean, if they were deadly killers, do you think they'd register the email address "email@example.com" and use it? (and are there really 60 other people using that same base address? Holy cow!) If you Google that email address, you'll find you're not the first to receive this sort of scam either. Check out this link: Life threatening email scam.
Please, delete the message, call the local police and tell 'em it's a common scam and the FBI's already aware of it, and then get back to your life, knowing that it's just some scary-stupid method of trying to separate you from your money and scare you a bit. Ugly, yes. Stupid, yes. A genuine, credible threat on your life? Not a bit.
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