A cryptocurrency called SQUID, based on but not affiliated to popular Netflix series Squid Game, has allegedly scammed users out of $3 million.
The SQUID cryptocurrency reached a peak of $2,861 before plummeting to $0 around 5:40 a.m. ET. after it was launched last week, according to the website CoinMarketCap. This kind of theft, commonly called a “rug pull” by crypto investors, happens when the creators of the crypto quickly cash out their coins for real money.
According to cached translation details, the alleged scammers made off with an estimated $3.3 million.
As such, the crypto coin included plenty of red flags, such as a three-week old website filled with bizarre spelling and grammatical errors. The website, hosted at SquidGame.cash, has disappeared, along with every other social media presence set up by the scammers.
Other red flags included the fact that SQUID’s Telegram channel, set up by the unknown scammers, didn’t allow comments from outsiders. And the Twitter account made it impossible for anyone to reply to posts.
The SQUID Telegram group have claimed that they are not responsible for the “rug pull” event, saying that “someone is trying to hack our project.”
“We are trying to protect it, but the price is still abnormal,” they continued. “Squid Game Dev does not want to continue running the project as we are depressed from the scammers and is overwhelmed with stress,” they added.
However, the biggest red flag was that users who purchased SQUID coin were unable to sell any.
Accordingly, mainstream news outlets like the BBC, Yahoo News, Business Insider, Fortune, and CNBC continued covering the story about how the new Squid Game cryptocurrency had soared by 83,000 percent over just a few days.
Last but not least, this is just the latest example of scammers utilizing pop culture to get media attention, having something similar happening earlier this year with Mando, a cryptocurrency that used images from Disney+’s Mandalorian TV show—without permission from Disney, of course.