Users have been reporting that they have been receiving unexpected cash deposits into their Google account balances via the Google Pay rewards program since earlier this week. Users on Reddit have reported that they received funds of up to $1,000, and if they have already spent or transferred the money are allowed to keep it, Google says.
Dogfooding is a term used to describe a process of internally testing pre-release software, with developers using their own software in practice to discover errors and fix them prior to rolling it out to a wider audience, however, the fact that the term has been used in this context suggests that this was meant to be sent to internal Google accounts only.
Users who have received the cash got a message from Google confirming the error that had deposited the funds into their accounts, and also that the issue had been resolved and, where possible, the credit had been taken back out of the account.
This isn't the first time when a bug or issue with software has caused money to suddenly become available to members of the public, with malware also being a cause in the past.