Simple Gmail Hack to Find Out Who is Sharing Your Email Address

Gmail Hack

Like many others I have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of SPAM Emails I am receiving.

There are many ways to describe what SPAM Emails are but they are essentially Unsolicited Emails from someone who you did not give permission to email you OR someone who you previously Unsubscribed from and have since Re-Imported you back into their Subscriber Database and started emailing you again.

There are many laws against sending Unsolicited Emails and I thought after the GDPR Regulation came into force in May 2018 a lot of it would stop.

Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case and IMO it’s worse now than it ever has been.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of SPAM Email I received – the unending Re-Importing of Unsubscribers and also the Sharing of Unsubscribers from one person to another.

My Email Address Being Re-Imported After I Unsubscribed

Unsubscribed in November and Re-Imported the following May (Names Removed to Protect Privacy)

By doing a Search in my Inbox for Emails from a particular Email Address I was quickly able to see the Date I Unsubscribed from this email list and the Date I was Re-Imported.

I Unsubscribed in November and was magically Re-Imported the following May about 6 Months later.

This was either the 2nd or 3rd time I was Re-Imported by this marketer and after I Unsubscribed yet again I sent them a nice polite message asking them to stop this practice and quit spamming me.

My Email Address Being Shared from One Marketer to Another

Marketer A named Stephen Sharing his Unsubscribes with his buddy (Last Name and List Details Removed to Protect Privacy)

I was surprised to see SPAM coming to the Inbox above as it’s a very old email address that I don’t use anymore.

With a bit of digging I was able to see that Marketer A whose first name is Stephen (I blocked out his last name for privacy reasons) had shared my email address with his buddy Marketer B.

I was able to track this all the way back over 5 Years when I actually bought a product from Marketer A and I could see when I unsubscribed from his emails so what he did was Share the Email Addresses of all the People who had Unsubscribed from his List with his buddy so he could start slamming them with emails and Auto-Registering them for Webinars.

I could go on and on and show you another dozen examples of the type of SPAM I receive but I’m going to leave it here and instead show you a very cool way how you can figure out who is Sharing Your Email Address.

Simple Gmail Hack to Find Out Who is Sharing Your Email Address

1 – the first thing you need is to set-up a Free Gmail Account

2 – when signing up to a new list add the “+marketers-name-list-topic” identifier to the end of your email address.

For Example : if your email address is BobsEmail @ gmail . com and you sign up to my list for the Free Website Logos then you would fill out the form as “bobsemail+noelcfreelogos @ gmail . com”

The “+marketers-name-list-topic” part of the email address does not prevent any emails being delivered and is a Cool Hack that Gmail gives us to identify how we got on certain email lists.

Example of the Gmail List Identifier in Action

3 – if you start receiving SPAM Emails from a name you don’t recognize then you can look at the email address it is being mailed to and see “bobsemail+noelcfreelogos @ gmail . com” – then you know without a shadow of a doubt that your email address was shared from the Free Logos list that you joined.

There’s not any more to it than that and all you need is a Gmail Account and you’re good to go.

Will this Stop Your Email Address Being Shared?

Of course not, no – but at least you will know who is responsible for sharing your information and you can put that unethical person on your Blacklist and take whatever other steps you deem necessary.

So that’s it guys – a Simple Gmail Hack to Find Out Who is Sharing Your Email Address! Do you have any Tips or Advice on how you deal with unsolicited emails? Let Me know in the Comments Below…

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  1. Love It Noel,

    Now to try and remember to include that in future.
    I get so many and unsub from so many these days – but continue to get email after email – and yeah – where’s the EU and their fines for these people!!!!

    We invest a small fortune ensuring we’re all compliant, meaning our profit margins are lower as we had to buy this that and the other, and possibly pay people to update here there and everywhere – only to see these clown carry on as normal making their profits, with no extra costs, and probably live in a country where $50 would be a great monthly wage, while we need thousands just to cover government bills fees taxes etc. before we get to keep any.

    And they say it’s brexit that is causing people with money to vanish… I reckon more of us would if we had any left over…lol

    Randy Smith recently posted…Are “Marketing Paradigm’s” holding you back?My Profile

    • Noel

      Too true Randy and it seems to be getting even worse recently. It will probably take a couple of Big Names in our space to get taken to task by the EU before anyone will really pay attention to GDPR.

      The sad part is I’ve actually been spammed by people I know, some of whom I’d class as friends. I guess the lure of the easy buck is greater than any penalties that may come their way down the line, eh?

  2. John


    I get some many emails that I have not recollection of subscribing to. What is worse are those that seem to continue after you unsub or some I have to set up a filter because there is no unsub on it.

    Good info once again. I need to pay more attention to the emails that count like yours.


    • Noel

      Yes, that’s what I have to do too John – set up rules in Gmail to send certain people direct to my junk folder because there is no unsub link in their emails.

      It’s crazy that with all the laws against SPAM that we have to do that but there are a lot of unethical people out there who just don’t seem to care.



  3. Peter Harvey

    Hi Noel,

    Thanks for this. I’m going to spend some time and create filters for all the spammers that don’t have unsubscribe links in their emails so I never see them again and start using your tip of adding the + identifier to each new list I join.

    It’s a pain that we have to do this but I guess not every marketer has good ethics like we do!

    • Noel

      That sounds like a good plan Peter and will definitely help you reclaim your inbox.


  4. Janet Lucy

    I’m going to start using this method right away because like you Noel, everyday I get lots of SPAM emails and it takes so much time to unsubscribe and try and keep my Inbox under control.

    • Noel

      Yeah it’s a big time drain for sure Janet!

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