How to determine the source IP address of an email and use it to trace the sender’s location.

With email scams on the increase even as email service providers are constantly re-engineering their anti-spam algorithm to identify and fish out email spams, cooperate organisations and individuals are losing huge amounts of money to these cyber criminals who leverage on the power of the internet to dish out irreparable damages to unsuspecting users. In this post, I want to share with us on how to identify the source IP address on an email and with the help of another internet facility, determine the location of the sender of such email. For someone who has been scammed, this is probably the first step of the investigation to uncover the face behind the scam.

email location
Email Credit Google




This demonstration is going to be on G-mail andYahoo mail, two of the biggest email providers out there. First, Let’s look at Gmail.

If you are using Gmail and you have justreceived a mail from someone who claims to be a US Marine stationed in Afghanistan, you can use this method I am about to reveal to get his IP address and find out location. If such a sender is truly a military personnel, two possible IP locations can be associated with the email: an IP address from a service provider in Afghanistan or an IP address from Pentagon, assuming they have a VPN connection to Pentagon. Anything else is fake.

To determine the source IP of the sender, using Gmail, do the following:
>> Open the email in your inbox
>> Click on the drop down arrow beside the reply button and choose “show original”


Next, copy the source IP, similar to the on cycled in red, go to and paste in. Click on IP lookup. You will see the location of the sender, down to the city the mail originated.
Yahoo mail.
If you use Yahoo Mail, finding an email sender’s location is also very easy. To do that, follow the steps below:
>> Open the email in your inbox
>> Click on the dots beside the forward button and choose view raw message



To get the location of the sender, copy the source IP and paste in
You may also like: How to send anonymous emails.
Note that the accuracy of these procedures to effectively determine the location of an email sender depends largely on whether the user is on VPN. If the mail was sent by a user who is subscribed to a VPN service, the location will be traceable to the location of the VPN server and not the exact location of the sender. Even at that, you would have been able to discover that the user is not a US Marine stationed in Afghanistan as he may have claimed.


Spread the love

Leave a Comment