Squid Game Popularity Being Used By Online Scammers

The BBC report that a Squid Game crypto token collapses in apparent scam. A digital token inspired by the popular South Korean Netflix series Squid Game has lost almost all of its value as it was revealed to be an apparent scam.

Squid, which marketed itself as a “play-to-earn cryptocurrency”, had seen its price soar in recent days – surging by thousands of per cent.  However, as the BBC reported, it was criticised for not allowing people to resell their tokens. This kind of scam is commonly called a “rug pull” by crypto investors. This happens when the promoter of a digital token draws in buyers, stops trading activity and makes off with the money raised from sales. Critics also highlighted that its website contained many spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The website is no longer online and social media accounts promoting the tokens have also vanished.

Jake Moore, the former Head of Digital Forensics at Dorset Police and now Cybersecurity Specialist at global cybersecurity firm, ESET:

“Like many internet scams, cryptocurrency scams align themselves closely to popular trends and after the hype of Squid Game, this is no different. People need to pay close attention to what they are investing in as these particular scams are not new. So called “pump and dump” cons are usually tied in with the latest trends to attract more attention but this in fact should be the warning needed to alert potential buyers into avoiding them. People need to be mindful of the perils that come with cryptocurrencies and stick to well-reviewed known coins and exchanges. There is still no guarantee or insurance when things go wrong in the world of digital money.”

However, it is not just the cryptocurrency which scammers are using the popularity of Squid Game to exploit people.

ESET’s Malware Researcher, Lukas Stefanko found by the 19 of October there were over 200 Squid Game related apps are available on Google Play. The most downloaded of them reached 1M installs in 10 days. Lukas identified app with the  ‘Joker’ malware attached to them. Which he says ‘might result in malicious ad-fraud and/or unwanted SMS subscription actions’. The app had been installed more than 5,000 times before it was taken down from Google Play Store.

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