An Important Announcement from Garbo

7 Reasons to Run a Search on Garbo

March 17, 2022

Every day individuals take proactive steps to help increase their safety — whether it’s using a seatbelt, putting on sunscreen, or texting someone your plans when meeting someone new.

We all have people in our lives who could impact our safety, our family’s safety, or our communities’ safety. 

While the media focuses on the concept of “stranger danger”, we know that a majority of harm is caused by an individual the victim knows. 

We created Garbo to help proactively prevent some of this harm from occurring by helping to identify potential bad actors — as we know a history of violence is the biggest indicator of future violence. 

There’s a lot of valid reasons to check if someone has a violent record: to help keep yourself safer, for peace of mind, to confirm some red flags you may be noticing, or to get assistance after leaving a dangerous situation. 

Here are seven reasons you may want to search someone on Garbo: 

1. Before going on a date with someone you met on an app

Studies have shown that 77% of people have researched someone before going on a date with them. It’s definitely normal to do a quick search to see if the person you’re meeting up with is who they say they are, but someone’s social media profile won’t tell you if they have a history of harmful behavior. 

Social media and search results are a curated set of information about someone. While you should definitely search them using these channels, they likely aren’t going to reveal the most important information — whether they have a history of violent and harmful behavior.

TIP: When you are Googling someone, click the “news” tab to see if they’ve been featured in any publications, including local newspapers. 

2. If you’re concerned your friend/family member might be in a situation with a dangerous individual

If you’re worried that someone you love or care about is in a dangerous situation, you should absolutely run a background check. They may not see the red flags you see or they may be in denial of the danger they’re in. 

People in potentially dangerous or already dangerous situations might have their devices monitored by the offender — which makes it hard for them to run a check themselves, get access to resources, or safety plan. 

Within Garbo, you can not only run a search on someone, you can talk with an advocate from The National Domestic Violence Hotline to get assistance on how you can help them. 

3. If you’re having red flags about your partner

There are certain red flags that you should know about in order to spot an abuser early on in a relationship like love bombing. If you feel like something is off you should trust your intuition. 

Even if this individual doesn’t have a record within Garbo, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a toxic and/or dangerous individual. 

If you find out that your partner has a violent past, there are several resources on Garbo's platform that can help you safely leave the relationship. 

4. If you’re meeting up with someone from an online marketplace (like Craigslist or Facebook)

Not only are online marketplaces notorious for being home to cyber criminals and scammers, but the transaction meet up can also be used as a way for bad actors to lure victims to a private place where they can cause harm. You can use Garbo’s platform to search the person you’re buying from or selling to in order to verify that they don’t have a record of financial crimes or other harmful behavior.

TIP: Read our Facebook Marketplace Scams blog to learn more about how to keep an eye out for bad actors.

5. If you’re in a co-parenting situation and there’s people you don’t know around your children

Co-parenting comes with its own sets of challenges, but one of the most common concerns when your children are not physically with you is whether or not they are safe.

If your ex has a new partner, or friend, that is spending time around your children while you’re not there, being able to have some peace of mind can help you start to build trust with this new individual in your child’s life. 

6. Someone you met out at a bar/event

While online dating is now the top way to meet a new romantic partner, meeting someone at a bar or at an event can still happen! 

You might have a great first impression of the individual — but, remember, you don’t really know this person even if you originally met them in-person. 

Plenty of harmful individuals are charming at first and make a great first impression, so while you may not have any immediate red flags, it’s still recommended that you check to see if this person has a history of harm before going further. 

7. A friend you met online

Online dating isn’t the only way folks are meeting new people online. The rising popularity of community platforms like Discord, Slack, and Roblox have provided endless ways to make new friends online. Even if you don’t necessarily plan to meet this person face-to-face, if you are communicating regularly and entrusting them with personal information about yourself, we recommend a search to see if there’s cause for concern. 

Remember: Background Checks are a Tool in the Safety Tool Belt

While background checks can help you stay safer, it’s extremely important to remember that the majority of abusers never interact with the justice system. A clean record does not guarantee that the person in question is not dangerous or capable of harm.

Always proceed with caution and trust your gut if you feel like something may be wrong.

Garbo is not intended to be used for the following purposes:

  • Employment Screening
  • Tenant Screening
  • Credit or Insurance
  • Hiring of Household Workers
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Volunteer decisions
  • Stalking or harassing an individual
  • Any other reason prohibited by the Fair Credit Reporting Act


If you have any questions or comments regarding Garbo’s platform, please contact

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