Hangouts recommends users read and follow the community guidelines below. These are basic tips to follow when meeting new people – both online and offline.

Practical Tips for Making Friends Online and In Person

Always be cautious when communicating with any stranger who wants to meet you. You are in control of your friend making experience at all times. Remember to always trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or threatened, cease communication and report any misbehavior immediately to .

Guard your identity. Don't share your real name, personal phone numbers, email address, home address, place of work or any other identifying information while messaging until you have established a reasonable level of trust with the other party. Do not post personal contact information in your profile or username.

Block and report users who are clearly on Hangouts looking for romantic relationships (rather than friendly relationships). By reporting them, you ensure they don't fool other members

Block sketchy users. Block any member who behaves or treats you in an abusive way and report the behavior to Hangouts immediately. Stop communicating immediately with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information. You can block and report concerns or terms of use violations from any profile page or from your message window. Your involvement will help keep the community fun and enjoyable.

Examples of terms of use violations include:


  • Spam or solicitation, such as invitations to call 1-800 numbers or attempts to sell products or services
  • Copyright infringement
  • Flirty or creepy behavior
  • Members sending harassing or offensive messages
  • Members asking you for money or donations
  • Minors using the service
  • Members behaving inappropriately after meeting in person
  • Fraudulent registration or profiles
  • Any other violation of Hangouts’ policies

Safety Tips for Meeting In Person

In first meetings, please always take precautions and use the following guidelines:

Meet in public. Until you've gotten to know someone pretty well, it's not a good idea to meet at their house.

Don't leave personal items unattended. You don't want to risk having personal information stolen. If you're drinking, keep your drink with you at all times so it can't be tampered with.

Stay sober. Do not do anything that would impair your judgment and cause you to make a decision you could regret.

Don't meet too late at night. Since Hangouts Social is a an app to meet friends, not hook-ups, it's best not too meet with anyone too late at night or into the morning.

Flirting

Hangouts also bans users who try to flirt or who are here for non-platonic reasons. Enforcing this allows Hangouts to keep its identity. If you suspect a user is flirting with you, or here for non-platonic reasons, please report them immediately as those people will typically be targeting others. Most people can identify when they're being hit on but here are some more difficult examples:

  • A married person who is into you and who acts friendly but doesn't even mention their partner once.
  • Someone who thinks your first Hangout should be in a hotel lobby.
  • Someone who thinks your first Hangout should be camping or a BBQ at their place.
  • Someone who gets angry because you haven't responded in a while
  • Someone who jokingly uses sexual innuendos in their sentences
  • Conversations that get progressively more personal and talk about physical aspects more and more
  • Excessive teasing
  • Compliments your picture
  • "My boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't know I'm using this"
  • (when meeting in person)attempts physical contact
  • (when meeting in person)increasing physical contact
  • (when meeting in person)tries to get you to less populated areas
  • (when meeting in person)asks for very personal details about you

Please report all flirting attempts either in-app or in-person. There is zero tolerance on those in this app, and you should also have zero tolerance for such behavior. Hangouts is extremely clear that it is strictly platonic, no flirting allowed.

Recognizing Fraud

Do not share your personal or financial information with people you don’t know:


  • Never send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer. You will most likely never get that money back. A scammer will often ask you to wire them money to an address overseas, or ask you to buy a gift card and read the gift card number from it. Once you do that you'll have no way to recover the money. They will often claim it's an emergency or they need it for a surgery after having talked to you for a while and gained your trust.
  • Never accept checks or other financial instruments from other members.
  • Never give out your credit card number or bank info.
  • Never share your personal info, such as SSN, address, phone number, etc. We also recommend you keep all conversations within Hangouts as scammers tend to try and take the conversation into other mediums where they have less obstacles to scamming you.

Always report to any such attempts, and if appropriate, to the police. You really do need to report it because scammers tend to target multiple people at the same time. Even if you figured out they're scamming, others might not, and your reporting them will help those victims.

Self-harm and suicide threats

In general, if you or another user seem to be having suicidal thoughts, please involve professionals immediately. You might inadvertently make things worse :


  • The national suicide prevention hotline is: 1-800-273-8255. Please share it with anyone who is making suicide threats and ask them to call it immediately.
  • Many countries outside the US also have their own phone number that can be easily found through an Internet search.
  • If you are talking to someone who's expressed self-harm thoughts, please send them the number above. If you think the danger to them is imminent, you can also contact their local authorities.
  • Hangouts users and staff are NOT trained to handle suicidal thoughts, nor recognize their severity or credibility.
  • If you think that someone is repeatedly threatening suicide as a means to get attention, or extort something from others, then please refer them to the suicide prevention hotline, then report them.
  • Here is the Suicide prevention hotline website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Reporting to Authorities

Possible Exploitation of Minors or ChildrenIn general, if you run into a user or profile that feels like it might be sexually exploiting children or minors, you need to take immediate action. This is an extremely rare scenario but if it happens it is very serious. Contact your local law enforcement or the FBI.

Possible Imminent harm to user or familyIn general, if you feel a user is at risk of harm, you can contact your police department. It it is urgent, please call the emergency number (e.g. 911 in the US).

You can also ask the police to do a welfare check on the user to make sure everything is all right.

You can still notify authorities if you think they are at risk.


Other illegal activity

In general, you can report illegal activity anonymously to the FBI or DEA (or if you're not in the US, you can contact the relevant authorities).

So if, for example, a user tries to sell you some illegal drugs, you can go to the DEA website and report them. If someone is threatening to do harm, you can either contact your local law enforcement or the FBI.

If someone is threatening imminent harm or is in imminent danger, please contact the emergency police number (e.g. 911 in the US).

In general, if you're in the US, the Justice Department. has a good list of where to file each kind of tip.

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