SEOUL — Eighth U.S. Army officials have a message for 713 Korea-based soldiers who discovered extra money in their mid-month paychecks Tuesday: Don’t spend it!

The bigger-than-normal paychecks are the result of a system error in the Automatic Rent Collection Program.

The glitch meant that the soldiers’ Overseas Housing Allowance wasn’t automatically deducted and paid to off-base landlords for the first half of their June rent.

And officials warn the same thing is going to happen with the end-of-the-month May paychecks.

The soldiers will be required to use both overpayments to pay their June rent, officials said.

They are being encouraged to visit their local finance offices between June 1 and June 13 to write a personal check in exchange for enough South Korean won to pay their rent. By using the finance office, 8th Army spokesman Maj. Jerome Pionk said, they should receive the most favorable won-to-dollar exchange rate.

Personnel from the 176th Finance Battalion found the error over the weekend during an internal audit, officials said.

Early Monday, the Army began contacting the soldiers through e-mail and telephone calls.

Officials do not yet know the reason for the error, but Pionk said they have ruled out computer viruses and human error on the part of U.S. Forces Korea personnel.

Pionk said that this is the first error of its type since the system was brought online four years ago.

Pionk said the Yongsan Garrison housing office has been alerted so officials there can pass the word to realtors and landlords.

For more information, contact the finance office at DSN 723-3562 or 723-5394.

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