How to Guess a Surprising Number of Email Addresses

This is how spammers and scammers find out your email

What to Know

  • Find the domain name of an organization and look for email addresses on contact pages and press releases.
  • Try searching for the domain name or company on the web or in newsgroups to identify address patterns.
  • You can sometimes guess someone's email from their username at another email service or social networking site.

This article explains how to guess the email addresses of individuals and organizations.

Guess Somebody's Email Address

To guess a contact's email address:

  1. Start with the organization:

    • Search for the company, school, or organization on the web to find their homepage and domain name. The domain name is what typically follows the "www" in the home page's address; the domain name in "" is "", for example.
    • See if you can find a general-purpose email address on their contact page.
    • Look for email addresses and, if possible, associated names. Chances are, there's a pattern to the addresses. Michelle Lagrande's address may be, or, for example.
    • Good places to find typical email addresses are contact pages and press releases. You can also try searching for the domain name or company on the web or in newsgroups to find address patterns.
  2. If you found an email address pattern and know your contact's full name:

    • Put together the pieces to make up the most probable address. If Michelle Lagrande's address is and your contact is called Maxwell Lepetit, try
  3. If no pattern became apparent, try common ways to construct email addresses:


If you find no address format and all guesses fail:

  • Try asking for contact information:
    your contact's colleagues if you can get a hold of any
  • a general-purpose contact (email, web form or phone).
  • Be prepared to have lots of relevant information and to authenticate yourself. Main contacts, in particular, are, fortunately, not eager to hand out information in willy-nilly a fashion.

For people not working at a company:

  • You can sometimes guess their username at a new email service or internet provider from their username at another email service, social networking site or instant messaging service. "Michellelg" at Yahoo! Instant Messenger could be "", for example.
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