How to Decline a Venmo Payment: Step by Step With Photos

venmo mobile smartphone

How to Decline a Venmo Payment: Step by Step With Photos

Venmo is a popular P2P payment app with millions of users. After all, this app has made many financial activities like splitting bills, sharing funds, and purchasing items online a breeze. With all these amazing perks, Venmo has a few downsides too. For instance, you can’t decline a Venmo payment whether it comes from a stranger, your friends, or someone you know. However, there is an option for how to decline a Venmo payment.

Whenever you send money to someone, the transaction takes place instantly. The recipient doesn’t have any option but to accept the payment. Also, Venmo has quite strict policies regarding refunds. The company only returns the money when both the sender and recipient consent. Consider it useless if it’s a stranger on the other side. 

So, what should you do if you can’t decline a Venmo payment from a stranger? Does receiving unidentified payments mean your account is hacked? Let’s evaluate all the ins and outs of declined Venmo transactions in this guide.

Can’t Decline a Venmo Payment? Return the Money to the Sender!

One thing is clear: you can’t decline payment on Venmo. Whether it came from a stranger or a friend, Venmo has a “Decline” feature. That’s because money is deducted the moment a person makes a transaction. 

When you receive a payment, you must answer this question: “Is the payment sent from a stranger or your friend?” You can send back the money if it’s from an acquaintance. However, you must be cautious if it’s from an unknown source.

You can return the payment to a trustworthy person since you know they are legit. You may have already received a payment request from them. So, pay them back and resolve the issue. Here is how to send money to a friend on Venmo:

Step 1: Select Pay or Request

Step 1 - Select Pay or Request
Tap the Pay or Request button.


Open the Venmo app and look for the dollar and pencil icon on the top-right corner of the homepage. Tap on it once you find it. This feature will be available on Android phones as “Pay or Request” on the bottom of the screen. Select it to move forward. 

Step 2: Find the Recipient

Step 2: Find the Recipient
Use the search function to find the recipient.


The next screen will ask you to find the recipient from the search bar. Type their username, email address, or phone number, and Venmo will show you their profile. Tap on their name to proceed. 

Step 3: Enter the Transfer Amount

Step 3: Enter the Transfer Amount
Enter the amount you want to refund.


Now, type the amount you couldn’t decline to send back to that person. 

Step 4: Add the Note

Step 4: Add the Note
Indicate the purpose of the payment.


A “What’s it for?” box will be present underneath the transaction amount. Tap on it to add a note mentioning that you couldn’t decline the recipient’s payment but return it to them to avoid the hassle.

Step 5: Choose Pay 

Tap the Pay option.
Tap the Pay option.


The last step is to choose “Pay.” It will open a prompt. Just select “Pay” again to complete the process. The money will soon be transferred to that person’s account. This process is the easiest solution when you can’t decline a Venmo payment.

Here is a step-by-step video for further reference on how to decline a Venmo payment:

What Should You Do When the Payment is From a Stranger?

If you have received unexpected funds from a stranger, it’s primarily due to a mistake from the sender’s side. You may have sent an accidental payment request to someone when you were drunk. 

The thing is that you can even request money from someone without a Venmo account. All you need is a person’s email address or phone number, and you’re good to go. However, there is a slight chance that you’re becoming a scam victim. 

So, if you’re unsure about the sender, don’t send them the money back right away. Instead, be cautious and follow the following ways:

  1. First, contact Venmo Support through the company’s official page. You can also submit a request explaining that you have received an unexpected payment and want Venmo to send it back to the recipient. Don’t use a single penny from the received amount during this process.
  2. Alternatively, you can do nothing and wait for the sender to request the money back. If you have received the request, it likely means that the sender may have made a genuine mistake. Just send the money back to that person to resolve this issue.

For the second method, you should ensure no scammer is on the other side. Although Venmo and PayPal are secure platforms, they are still vulnerable to hacking attempts. So, only opt for this option after confirming the sender is legit. 

Another thing to remember is that you shouldn’t use the payment until the dispute is resolved. What if the sender submits a refund request on Venmo, and you’ll have to return the money? Yes, that will go from your pocket. 

Are Payment Scams Common on Venmo?

Every payment app is filled with scammers, regardless of popularity and usage. Whether it’s PayPal, Zelle, Cash App, or Venmo, the chances of encountering a hacker are high on every app. Even worse, these scammers are pretty active and professional in their jobs. 

Hackers use many techniques to trick people into sending money or revealing their personal information. These include accidental payments, corrupt survey links, or emails with fraudulent links. But is every unknown transaction a scam? Only sometimes. 

Receiving a payment can be a genuine mistake from a legit Venmo user or a scam. You can never know. When it’s a fraud, the scammer will send you a payment from a stolen bank account or credit card. They will then ask you to return the money by claiming it was a mistake. 

You may transfer the amount to the scammer if your goodness leads you into their trap. Remember, it will be an authorized transaction, and you won’t claim a refund for this payment later. As soon as the scammer receives the amount, they will cash it out and block you.

What about the amount that the scammer sent you? Since it was initiated from a stolen credit card, the card’s actual owner will get the amount reversed from the bank or company. As a result, the scammer’s payment will be deducted from your account and the money you sent them later. 

Because you can’t decline a Venmo payment or refund it, you will lose a lot of money. So, always contact Venmo Support if you receive payments from a stranger before returning the money.

Does Receiving Unknown Venmo Payments Mean Your Account Is Hacked? 

Venmo must have multiple security risks, but receiving money from unknown sources doesn’t always mean your account is hacked. It won’t be compromised in every case. You’re fine if you don’t receive suspicious notifications from Venmo or unverified payments.

Most Venmo payments from unknown sources are due to an honest mistake from someone. Since many people have the same name, errors are bound to happen. Since you can’t decline a Venmo payment, your action plan must include contacting Venmo Support and informing the representative about the situation. Just follow their instructions and block the user until the issue is resolved.

You can also make your privacy settings private to prevent the potential scammer from monitoring your activities. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Open the menu in the Venmo app.
  2. Choose “Settings” from the left-hand menu.
  3. Then, select “Privacy” in the Settings screen.
  4. Tap “Past Transactions” in the More section.
  5. Next, choose “Change All to Private” and confirm the on-screen prompts to complete the process.

Now, your Venmo will be private, and no stranger can interact with you in the future. 

What If You Send a Venmo Payment To the Wrong Person? 

You now know it is impossible to decline a Venmo payment, whether sent by a stranger or a friend. To tackle this situation, you should wait to send the amount back and contact Venmo Support quickly. 

But what if you accidentally send the payment to the wrong person, preferably from your friend list? In that case, follow the below steps to get your money back the right way:

  1. Cancel the payment immediately if you sent it to a non-Venmo user through their email or phone number. Log in to your Venmo account, open the menu, and navigate the “Incomplete” section. 
  2. Choose the wrong transaction under the “Payments” tab and tap “Take Back.” The transaction will be instantly reversed, and no money will be deducted from your account.
  3. Send the return request instantly if you accidentally transferred the payment to someone with an active Venmo account. While initiating the request, add a note explaining that you mistakenly sent them the amount. If you get no response, you can contact Venmo Support to evaluate your options. 

Remember, Venmo doesn’t guarantee refunds, but they will guide you about your action plan in detail. Just be sure to provide the correct information to Venmo Support. These include the recipient’s username, payment date and amount, and the recipient’s details.

How to Decline a Venmo Payment: Wrap Up

How to decline a Venmo payment isn’t as tricky as it sounds. Whether you receive an unexpected payment from your friend or a stranger, you can’t decline a Venmo payment. If it’s from someone you know, you can send them the amount back to resolve the issue. However, if it’s from an unknown person, NEVER send the amount back and report it to Venmo Support quickly. 

Meanwhile, block that user to avoid falling into a scam. Of course, not every unidentified payment is a scam. It could be a genuine mistake from someone. The Venmo Support representative will help you tackle this situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I decline money on Venmo?

You can’t decline money on Venmo. Whether it’s sent mistakenly from a friend or stranger, it will be instantly added to your account. If it comes from someone you know, you can simply send the amount back to that person. However, immediately contact Venmo Support and explain your situation to the representative if it’s from an unknown source. Meanwhile, don’t use the mistaken money and block the sender to avoid any chances of getting scammed.

How do I cancel a Venmo payment sent to a non-Venmo account?

You can cancel Venmo payments to an inactive Venmo user by navigating to the “Incomplete” option in the menu. Then, head to the “Payments” tab and select the transaction you want to cancel. Tap “Take Back” to get the amount back. You won’t have this option if you send the money to an active Venmo user. So, your last resort will be to request that person to transfer the amount back.

Why would Venmo decline a payment?

Venmo declines a payment in cases of incorrect banking or personal information, app errors, poor internet connection, or any suspicious transaction initiated from the account. Sometimes, the bank or credit card provider can decline a Venmo payment.

Does receiving an unknown payment mean my Venmo account is hacked?

Receiving an unknown payment doesn’t always mean your Venmo account is under a hacker attack. It could be a genuine mistake from someone you know or a stranger. So, always inform Venmo Support’s representative about this activity to find a solution.

Will Venmo refund money if scammed?

No, Venmo doesn’t refund money in scam cases. Venmo payments are instantly deducted and added to the respective accounts.

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