Popular trends, whether they are meme coins, desired products, or popular television shows -- including the Netflix Squid Game series -- can all be hijacked by criminals who want to jump on the bandwagon and take advantage of consumer interest.
The same can be said for the Squid Game cryptocurrency scheme, a project which promised investors a pay-to-play online game based on the television series, in which contestants were made to play lethal games for prize money.
It should be noted that the Squid Game cryptocurrency project is not associated with the television series, Netflix, or its creators.
The online game was set to launch in November and would cost SQUID tokens to play. However, less than two weeks after the SQUID token was launched -- having reached a peak of over $2,850 -- the coin has now completely crashed by over 99.99% and is currently worth $0.003028.
On November 1, investors who had previously enjoyed seeing the coin rise in value from $0.01 to levels far beyond its original price on PancakeSwap found out they were unable to sell their tokens.
According to CoinMarketCap, an "anti-dumping mechanism that was imposed by the project's developers meant they could not sell."
Investors were unable to move their tokens and then the development team went silent. As of now, the project's website, squidgame.cash, is inaccessible and Twitter now displays a warning on the SQUID Twitter account, citing "unusual activity" as a reason for its temporary suspension.
This is known as a rug pull or an exit scam, in which investor funds are moved elsewhere and developers vanish -- often leading to a coin's value to tank and to become worthless.
In a Telegram channel linked to the project, an administrator said:
"Someone is trying to hack our project these days. Not only the Twitter account @GoGoSquidGame but also our smart contract. We are trying to protect it but the price is still abnormal.
Squid Game Dev does not want to continue running the project as we are depressed from the scammers and is overwhelmed with stress."
Gizmodo estimates that investor losses have reached $3.3 million,
In other Squid Game news, TA575 threat actors have been linked to a campaign exploiting the popularity of the television show to spread Dridex malware.