Out of nowhere today I got a handful of emails in regards to my items for sale on Craigslist. I was excited about it, so I started to reply. Then I noticed a pattern with the emails. One was simply “We like it”, then next was “Interested” and the third was also “Interested”. Plus, they had typed something very similar to “still have your stuff?” in the subject line. I knew it didn’t look right so I decided to investigate.
Fortunately, since I am a Gmail user there is a little downward pointing arrow to the top right of the message. (as seen in the below picture.) Actually every email provider should have the same type of option, I just like Gmail the best.
Clicking this link gives you a list of options for the email. One of these options is called “Show Original”. What this does is opens up a new window and gives you the text details of the message. What their servers see the email like. All of the data that you don’t normally need to see. The email program (or website) take this raw information and turn it into a presentable email message.
Once this page is loaded it looks like the below image. What you are seeing here is actually the very bottom of the message, Starting (at the bottom and working up) with the message itself and the senders information. I pointed out the main piece of information that I was looking for, which is an IP Address.
So at this point we have an IP address. What good is that? It actually isn’t the IP Address of the person who sent the email. It is the IP Address of the internet provider from where the email was sent. What makes this a little (or sometimes a lot) inaccurate is that it is possible with some email addresses using the web client it could show the IP address as the address of the email
provider. What I ended up finding with these few emails was a little bit more. I went to the website: http://www.ipaddressreport.com/
and clicked on “Find hostname of this IP Address”. It is a website that gives you some public information about an IP Address.
And there you have it. Saudi Arabia. I ran the other IP Adresses and got Thailand and United Arab Emirates. Blatantly not local. I decided not to reply to the emails and just let it be. I just don’t want them to get my actual email address, when all they have now is the anonymous Craigslist email.
So hopefully this will help at least one person from being scammed when selling stuff online.