What is a disposable email address and how can email verification help you spot one?

Disposable email addresses are email addresses that last for a limited period of time

They work for anything between a few minutes to a few weeks. Temporary email addresses give users access to a mailbox for a short period of time. That's why they are often called temporary, burner or disposable email addresses.

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What is a temporary email address for?

They are used by people who want to hide their 'real' email address, or remain anonymous online. Often users of disposable email addresses are hiding their identity because they want to act badly or commit fraud without leaving a trail.

Temporary email addresses aren't always used by fraudsters. Many users are genuine and just trying to control communication so they don't 'get spammed' or have their data shared. Consumer advice sites often suggest that people use a temporary email address if they buy anything online to keep their 'real' inbox spam free.

Why Email Hippo watches for disposable email addresses

Disposable emails are indicators of fraud
There is a strong link between disposable email addresses and online fraud.  Increasingly, companies don't want to deal with people who hide online. Credit card chargebacks, abusive behaviour, anti-social behaviour, crime and identity fraud are all enabled by disposable email addresses. These email addresses are the email equivalent of 'burner mobile phones' and instantly erased social media posts.

Tools to help block disposable email addresses - lists and API

Here are links to two of the most up to date disposable email address lists. These lists are generally community managed. There's a growing number of people working collaboratively to make disposable emails visible online. Because they're community managed there is no promise about how up to date they are, so use them with common sense. We help curate and moderate the GitHub list #1 so we confidently steer you to that resource.

Learn more about why email verification is essential for your business.

Online lists of disposable, or burner, email addresses

GitHub List #1  Burner-email-providers

GitHub List #2 Disposable Email List

MORE API for blocking disposable email addresses : Email Hippo.com MORE documentation

Pre-fraud API to prevent disposable email address usage at first point of contact

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Written by: Jo

Wednesday, 11 July 2018