How to Stop Disposable Email Addresses from Polluting Your Waters
Tired of firstname.lastname@example.org signing up for your service?
We’ve got an API for that. Here’s the backstory.
Several months ago, I woke up to an inbox full of new signups to our API service. The volume was drastically higher overnight – orders of magnitude higher than a typical night.
I knew one of two things had happened: we were either featured by a major news outlet or we had someone(s) sign up for a bunch of free API accounts using temporary or one time-use email addresses, sometimes called Disposable Email Addresses.
After looking at the first few, it was obvious what had happened. We had a number of signups from email@example.com. And a quick glance at that website crystallized things . . .
. . . sharks with laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads were being used to sign up for free accounts on our service.
Is there a legitimate use for Disposable Email Addresses or sub-addressed email in this world? Sure.
However, as a service provider with real costs associated with non-genuine accounts, there are legitimate reasons for blocking disposable email addresses from being used for account creation. While we don’t expect to be front and center in your inbox when we send a message, at a minimum we wish to be bacn.
As a service provider, we want to notify end users of performance degradation of our service, deliver invoices, notify users of version changes to our service, promote new features that may be beneficial, etc. I suspect most service providers, including forum, blog, and newsletter operators, would feel the same way.
The entrepreneur in me said, if we have this problem, so do others. A little bit of research identified multiple thousands of domains used for temporary email but few reliable maintenance-free solutions for detecting such email.
A few months later, we present to you a service for identifying Temporary or Disposable Email Addresses. Simply pass the email address in question to our Disposable Email API and get back a response as to its likely status as a one time use email address.
It’s that simple.
Take a look and let us know if we can help you prevent these sharks with lasers from polluting your waters!
UPDATE: The Disposable Email API is now included on all FullContact API plans! Learn more here: