Squid Game-Inspired Scammers Make Off With $3M

Cryptocurrency SQUID, which generated a lot of headlines, could be bought but not sold
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2021 2:31 PM CDT
Squid Game -Inspired Scammers Make Off With $3M
This undated photo released by Netflix shows a scene of contestants vying to win the Dalgona Korean candy challenge in a scene from "Squid Game."   (Youngkyu Park/Netflix via AP)

(Newser) – A cryptocurrency seemingly linked to Netflix blockbuster Squid Game turned out to be a scam that netted its creators more than $3 million. SQUID, touted as a "play-to-earn cryptocurrency," had surged in price in recent days, hitting a peak of $2,861 early Monday after outlets including the BBC, CNBC, and Business Insider reported on it, per Gizmodo. But while those outlets described how only SQUID holders could take part in online games inspired by those featured on Netflix's Squid Game, with 90% of entry fees going into a reward pool, Gizmodo warned of an "obvious scam" on Friday, noting investors could purchase the cryptocurrency but not sell it. Creators could still cash out their tokens in what's known as a "rug pull" scam.

The cryptocurrency crashed days after the warning, which followed reports that Netflix wasn't associated with SQUID, per Newsweek. The three-week-old website SquidGame.cash then disappeared, along with other social media pages tied to the cryptocurrency. The creators made off with $3.38 million, per Gizmodo, which notes a similar scam earlier this year centered around a cryptocurrency called Mando, which appeared to be linked to Disney+'s The Mandalorian. The BBC is now airing this warning from Jinnan Ouyang of crypto company Openmining: "Nowadays new coins can be listed on decentralised exchanges on the first day they are created, without any regulation or due diligence. So you could be buying coins from anyone with any agenda." (Read more cryptocurrency stories.)

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