If there’s one thing Squid Game taught us (well, other than capitalism is a profoundly broken system that turns those oppressed by it against one another), it’s that you should always do your research before signing up for get-rich-quick schemes. Unfortunately for a lot of folks, it seems they didn’t quite get the take away.
Despite multiple outlets warning investors against buying SQUID cryptocurrency, earlier today Gizmodo reported the creators of SQUID had successfully scammed over $2.1 million dollars from unsuspecting investors. The cryptocurrency heist reportedly took place earlier today at around 5:40 AM ET, when the value of SQUID plummeted from $2,861 to $0 after the currency’s creators did what’s commonly referred to as a “rug pull” in the world of digital dollars. This term is used to describe what happens when the creators of a crypto decide upon a set time to rapidly cash out their currency for real money, draining the liquidity pool from the exchange and essentially robbing all other investors of any profits.
When SQUID crypto coin launched last week, it was accompanied by several red flags, according to Gizmodo. For starters, the three-week-old site was riddled with grammar and spelling errors, the “company’s” various social media accounts prevented users from interacting with them, and, most importantly, no one who purchased the coin was able to sell it. However, despite all these warning signs, a number of mainstream news outlets — such as Yahoo News, Business Insider, Fortune, and CNBC — all ran headlines talking hyping up “the new Squid Game cryptocurrency,” with Fortune reporting it has soared up 83,000% in just a few days.
Unfortunately, this is merely the latest in a series of countless cryptocurrency exit scams, and isn’t even the first to utilize a major piece of pop culture to incentivize people to buy-in. Earlier this year, the same tactic was used by the creators of MANDO token, a cryptocurrency based on the Disney+ series The Mandolorian. However, it’s important to note neither Disney nor Netflix, in Squid Game‘s case, were involved in the creation of the cryptocurrencies and subsequent scams. Here’s hoping better reporting on the issue helps keep business journals from praising them and innocent folks from buying in in the future.