An early scene in "Squid Game" in which a mysterious person hands the protagonist a card with a phone number on it has become a source of aggravation for South Koreans sharing the same, or similar, digits.
In the hit Netflix series, those who call the eight-digit number presented on the card get unknowingly invited to a life-or-death competition that offers a massive financial prize to the winner. At issue is that the number is not fictitious but actually belongs to a South Korean man who owns his own small business.
As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, his mobile number matches the one that appears on the card, and since the premiere of "Squid Game," which has become Netflix's No.1 show in 90 countries, he has been receiving roughly 4,000 calls a day. His phone rings every 20 seconds but he cannot change the number as it belongs to his business. Instead, the man avoids answering his phone because when he does, callers typically say they want to participate in "Squid Game."
"I haven’t even watched 'Squid Game,'" he said, according to the Journal. "It’s so stressful but there’s nothing I can do."
Hanna Kim, a 26-year-old office worker in Seoul, has had a similar experience. Her phone number differs from the one on the show by two digits and she has noticed a dramatic uptick in texts and calls from strangers. Some hang up while others ask, "Is this 'Squid Game?'"
"It makes me angry because I had so much fun watching 'Squid Game,'" Kim said after she was reportedly told by Netflix and the South Korean production company, Siren Pictures, that they would not provide financial compensation after she asked how they would deal with the prank calls.
A spokesperson for Netflix said it would be working with Siren Pictures to edit out the phone number however some people like a student identified by her surname, Jeong, who receives at least 100 prank calls a day, says a simple apology would suffice.
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