Hangouts recommends users read and follow the community guidelines below. These are basic tips to follow when meeting new people – both online and offline.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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:
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.
Do not share your personal or financial information with people you don’t know:
Always report to email@example.com 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.
In general, if you or another user seem to be having suicidal thoughts, please involve professionals immediately. You might inadvertently make things worse :
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.
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.