Hello, thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post; I've tried to research this issue as much as I could before posting, so I do know some information already-- but so far I haven't found anything to really help me out.
The scenario: Over the past months, I have received various emails from different email addresses, which I suspect might all be from the same one person; this person isn't a scammer, but someone who I think is posing as several different people.
I have tried to find the person's IP address by following guidelines posted on the internet on how to do this-- however, the emails are always from gmail addresses, and I have read that supposedly it's not possible to find the user's actual IP address from a gmail address. This is presumably because gmail does not include users' IP addresses in its header, but rather just the IPs of its own email servers.
I tried to conduct a little test just to see if an IP address can correctly be found from an email even if it's not gmail; I sent emails to myself from several different email accounts of my own. Those included one gmail, two yahoo, and one from my own private server. I looked up my own IP address on an IP-finder website, and then I searched for this IP address in the headers of the four test emails I had sent to myself. Only the email from my own private server contained my actual IP address. I looked up all the other IP addresses in the other headers, and they were all server addresses (ie, in locations far from where I live).
Furthermore, in all the emails I had sent to myself (all from the same originating connection, ie, all from the same IP address, at home, within the same one hour), none of the four test emails contained any of the same IP addresses at all. Meaning that if some other person was trying to impersonate a number of different people, and was just sending me emails from various addresses while sitting at home, their various emails would still look like they were sent from different people.
Needless to say, this is pretty frustrating and concerning; I thought maybe I could try to find the person's IP address via livejournal, because at one point one of these supposedly different people had contacted me on my livejournal account. I know that livejournal used to (or maybe still does) have a feature that if you post a blog entry, then you can show the IP address of commenters on your entry-- but I don't know if you can have an IP address shown in a private message sent to you.
In conclusion, what I would like is if someone could help me figure out a way to tell if these various emails/livejournal messages I've received have originated from the same IP address or not? It seems unlikely to me that someone could harass someone else simply by continuing to register additional, different gmail addresses, without even needing to hide their IP address.