If someone sends an email from a monthly contract telephone whilst logged onto wifi (free access) and the email address was opened using false information and the wifi log on was also using false information, can the email be traced to the monthly contract number and registered details? Question applies to investigations by British police (met etc.) I'vm writing a book and am hoping that the use of the contract mobile is something that gives the game away, so to speak. Thanks. Arsene.

  • No. You are mixing things up. – Tobi Nary Sep 10 '17 at 20:13
  • What do you mean? I don't understand, sorry! Thanks for your advice and time, by the way! – Arsene Boulevaard Sep 10 '17 at 20:16
  • No, you cannot =( but, you can track the phone using mobile operator logs, if the same person repeats that action. E.g. you can compare IMEI codes, registered to mobile base stations at a specific period of time and find out that there was only one phone with this IMEI=) you can call it luck and proceed with your investigation. But I’m not sure, if British police can request (has the authority) this information from mobile operators. You’ll have to find out it by yourself. Good luck with your book =) – Valery Marchuk Sep 10 '17 at 20:35


Phone subscriptions are not generally tied to mobile phones - and they use different technologies for connecting: mobile networks use different technologies, depending on location and carries, wifi is a different technology from all of those. Thus, the mobile data and wifi data modems are only tied together by the actual device, which can be identified by an IMEI.

However, if

  • the mobile carrier can establish an IMEI to customer connection and
  • the wifi has pcaps of the traffic and
  • the MAC address of the wifi-Adapter of the phone is not altered and
  • the phone manufacturer can match a wifi MAC to an IMEI,

there's an implausible but possible way to track that down.

Much more plausible would be to ask the email provider for data on previous or subsequent usage of the account. If it gets accessed over the mobile network and the provider has logs of its NAT, the phone may be tracked.

NAT (Network Address Translation), MAC (Media Access Control) and IMEI (International Mobile (I think, can't be bothered to google) Equipment Identifier) can easily be searched for and explained by the Wikipedia or source of your choice, but the general idea:

NATs are used to make multiple devices in a network appear as one on another network. Mobile carries use this (as you do at home with your wifi) because IPv4 addresses run out and also because devices behind a NAT can not be directly accessed from outside.

MACs identify wifi and Ethernet adapters, they are assigned by the vendor, yet can be spoofed by software.

IMEIs identify mobile phones and are assigned by the vendor.

  • Thanks for this detailed information. I'm not clear on some of the technology. Could you please elaborate? I'm super grateful for your time! – Arsene Boulevaard Sep 10 '17 at 20:31
  • @ArseneBoulevaard I edited my answer. Yet, be aware that this is not a forum. – Tobi Nary Sep 10 '17 at 20:41
  • Hello, just been doing some further work this morning and I have one further question. When examining the email on gmail (using the 'original email' link) where can you find information about the mobile telephone that was used to send the email? – Arsene Boulevaard Sep 11 '17 at 6:33
  • Again: This is not a forum. If this answer has been helpful, accept it - if another question does arise, feel free to ask it using the "Ask Question" button - and maybe even link this Question. – Tobi Nary Sep 11 '17 at 6:38
  • Ok. Sorry, and thanks again. I'm new and will follow your advice and information. – Arsene Boulevaard Sep 11 '17 at 6:52

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