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How to Decline a Venmo Payment: Step by Step With Photos and Expert Tips

Have you ever gotten a payment on Venmo that you didn‘t want or ask for? Maybe it was from a stranger, for the wrong amount, or even suspicious. You went to decline the payment only to find…there‘s no decline button!

Venmo doesn‘t give users an option to reject funds. But don‘t worry, you‘re not powerless in these situations. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to properly handle and effectively "decline" any unwanted Venmo payments.

I‘ll share step-by-step instructions, expert insights, data, and handy tips throughout. Read on to become a Venmo payment pro!

Why There‘s No Way to Decline Payments on Venmo

Before we dive into managing unwanted payments, let‘s discuss why Venmo doesn‘t have a decline or reject function in the first place.

The short answer is: Venmo transactions are designed to be instant and irreversible.

Once you hit "Pay" on the Venmo app, the money immediately deducts from your account balance and transfers to the recipient. No take-backs! This is by design for several reasons:

  • Quick transfers – Venmo wants payments to complete in seconds so you can pay people back on the spot. A decline feature would introduce delays.

  • Finality – Payments need to be final to avoid confusion and disputes. Venmo acts like cash in this way.

  • Prevent fraud – If payments could be reversed easily, scammers could take advantage and pull money back after receiving it.

According to Venmo‘s user agreement, all payments are final unless there is an error or dispute filed within 60 days. And even refunds aren‘t guaranteed.

So in short, Venmo makes payments irreversible for speed, clarity, and security. That means no declining!

Now let‘s get into the details of what to actually do when you receive money you don‘t want…

Got an Unwanted Payment? How to Return Funds on Venmo

You have two options if you receive a Venmo payment that you want to decline or send back:

  1. Return payment to the sender – If you know the payer, you can just send the money back to them directly through Venmo.

  2. Request refund from the sender – If the payer is unknown, have them request a refund which you then approve and return the funds.

Let‘s explore these options more in-depth now…

Returning Funds Directly to Someone You Know

If the unwanted Venmo payment came from a friend, family member, coworker, or other contact, the easiest solution is to simply send the money back to them.

Here are the quick and easy steps:

  1. In the Venmo app, tap the "Pay" icon in the top-right corner.

  2. Find the contact who sent the unwanted payment using their username, phone, or email address.

  3. Enter the dollar amount that you want to return to the sender.

  4. In the "What‘s it for?" field, type a note explaining why you are sending the money back. For example, "Returning payment I didn‘t request" or "You sent me too much, returning extra $20."

  5. Review the details, then hit the "Pay" button to instantly return the funds.

And done! It will look just like any other peer-to-peer payment on Venmo. This is the simplest method when the payer is a known contact.

Now let‘s talk about what to do when the mystery payer is a stranger…

Getting a Refund From Someone You Don‘t Know

Receiving a Venmo payment from a random stranger is trickier to handle. Here are a few common scenarios:

  • Wrong recipient – They likely mistyped someone‘s username or number.

  • Accidental request – You got their payment by mistake after sending a faulty request.

  • Potential scam – Strangers may try to "pay" you in order to steal money or information.

No matter the reason, never send funds back directly to a stranger on Venmo! Unlike payments from friends, unknown transfers carry risks:

  • The money could be from fraudulent sources (stolen account). If you send it back, you‘re on the hook when the rightful owner does a chargeback.

  • It‘s a scam attempt. Scammers often "accidentally" pay you then pressure you to send it back so they can pocket the cash.

  • You accidentally paid a scammer. If you requested money from a stranger while drunk or after being tricked, don‘t return anything.

To safely handle payments from strangers:

  • Don‘t touch the money – Leave the amount unspent in your Venmo account until resolved.

  • Block the user – This prevents further contact from someone suspicious. Go to your Venmo settings and tap "Blocked Users" to block them.

  • Wait for a refund request – If it‘s an honest mistake, the sender will likely notice shortly after and ask for a refund via the Venmo app.

  • Verify before approving refunds – Double check the details to ensure the refund request matches the original payment.

  • Return payment only after verification – Once you‘ve confirmed the refund request is legitimate, then approve it through the app to send the money back.

  • Contact Venmo – If anything seems sketchy, reach out to Venmo‘s customer support for help. You can email them or find contact options on Venmo‘s official website. The agents can guide you on the appropriate action.

By following this process, you can make sure any payments from strangers are handled safely. Some key signs the Venmo transfer is high risk:

  • You don‘t recognize the user who paid you at all

  • It‘s a very large amount of money from a stranger

  • The sender pressures you to quickly return the payment

Trust your gut. When in doubt, get Venmo customer support involved before taking any action.

Now let‘s dig into some data on how common unwanted payments and payment scams are on Venmo…

How Often Do Users Get Unwanted Venmo Payments?

You might be wondering – just how many people actually deal with unwanted payments or scams on Venmo?

According to Venmo‘s parent company PayPal, less than 0.1% of Venmo transactions are reportedly "unauthorized payments." This amounts to just 1 out of every 1,000 payments.

In the first quarter of 2022, Venmo processed roughly $57 billion in payment volume. That would equal around 57,000 problematic payments in Q1 if the 0.1% rate holds true.

For context, Venmo handled about 1.8 billion transactions in 2021. So the chances are low but still present.

As for payment scams specifically, one 2021 survey found that about 9% of Venmo users reported losing money to a scam. Most often these scams prey on younger audiences.

The types of Venmo scams users reported falling for include:

  • Fake transactions or payments (35%)

  • Purchasing fraudulent goods or services (21%)

  • Sending money to the wrong person (14%)

So while unwanted payments and scams aren‘t extremely widespread on Venmo, they do happen often enough that users should stay vigilant.

Being aware of the common Venmo scams can help you avoid them…

Beware! 5 Venmo Scam Tactics to Watch For

While Venmo is generally very secure, scammers are out there trying to take advantage of unsuspecting users. Here are 5 common Venmo scams to watch out for:

1. Fake Payment Scam

This is the most prevalent Venmo scam. A stranger sends you money out of the blue. Shortly after, they message claiming they paid the wrong person by mistake. They ask you to please send the money back to them.

But when you do, you discover the payment they sent is fraudulent and reverses. You‘re out the money you refunded from your own pocket.

2. Fraudulent Items Scam

A supposed seller persuades you to pay for an item via Venmo. But you never end up receiving the product. The "seller" pockets the money and disappears. This often happens with event tickets, electronics, designer items, etc.

3. The Refund Scam

A scammer poses as Venmo customer support. They send a fake alert that you qualify for a refund or promotional bonus. When you click the link to collect it, you‘re prompted to log into a fake Venmo website giving away your login credentials.

4. Romance Scam

You meet someone online who starts sending you Venmo payments. They then ask you to return some of the funds as a sign of trust and caring. In reality, they are laundering money or gaining access to your account.

5. Fake Payment Notifications

Scammers send realistic-looking Venmo notifications that you received a payment, hoping you‘ll log in to check. But it‘s a phishing scheme to steal login or banking details. No real payment was made.

The best way to avoid Venmo scams? Use common sense:

  • Never send money back to strangers – Even if they claim an accident. Contact Venmo support first.

  • Ignore unsolicited messages – Don‘t click suspicious links or provide personal information to random people.

  • Only pay people you know and trust – Avoid deals that seem "too good to be true."

  • Use unique passwords – Prevent scammers from accessing your accounts.

  • Monitor statements closely – Quickly report any unauthorized Venmo activity to their security team.

Stay vigilant and you can steer clear of Venmo scams! Now let‘s cover what to do if you make an accidental payment on Venmo.

Sent the Wrong Amount by Mistake? How to Fix It

We all mess up sometimes. Let‘s discuss what to do when you accidentally send someone the wrong payment amount on Venmo, even if you know the recipient very well.

If you catch the mistake right after making the bad payment, here are your options to fix it:

1. Cancel the payment

If the payment is still processing and hasn‘t completed yet, you may be able to cancel it:

  • Tap the payment in your Venmo activity

  • See if there is a "Cancel" button – tap it if so!

This instantly cancels the transaction before money exchanges hands.

2. Request a refund

If you can no longer cancel the payment, request a refund:

  • Tap into the completed payment

  • Choose "Request Refund"

  • Explain to the recipient it was the wrong amount

The recipient can then approve or deny the refund through the Venmo app. If approved, the funds return to your account.

3. Resend the proper amount

Once you have the funds back from canceling or getting a refund, simply resend the correct payment amount to your intended recipient.

The faster you act, the better your odds of reversing accidental payments on Venmo! Your options decrease over time.

If too much time has passed, you‘ll have to ask the recipient to send funds back manually. Or chalk it up as an expensive mistake.

So remember to act quickly if you fat-finger the payment amount to a friend and send the wrong total.

Final Thoughts: Mastering Venmo Payments

As you can see, while Venmo doesn‘t allow declined payments, you still have options when money shows up that you don‘t want:

  • For friends, return funds directly back to the sender

  • For strangers, have them request a refund first for safety

  • Watch for payment scams and report sketchy activities

  • Act fast if you mess up and send the wrong amount

Some key tips to take away:

  • Add detailed notes when returning any payments – explain why

  • Never send money back to an unknown payer without verifying first

  • Contact Venmo support if you need help determining the proper action

I hope these steps, data, expert insights, and suggestions better equip you to handle unwanted Venmo payments properly. Just stay calm, think critically, and take your time responding. With caution and smarts, you can manage any Venmo payment situation.

Let me know if you have any other questions!