Netflix to remove invitation phone number from 'Squid Game' after it spawned thousands of prank calls
- The calling card in Netflix's "Squid Game" has a phone number that's real, and it belongs to a Korean man who's been flooded by calls.
- Netflix said on Wednesday that it's planning to edit the phone number out of the show.
- South Koreans with phone numbers just a few digits off from the one in the show have also been receiving prank calls and texts.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
In a bid to provide some relief to several South Koreans drowning in calls and texts, Netflix plans to edit some scenes of "Squid Game" to remove the phone number from the hit show's iconic calling card, the company said on Wednesday, as per Reuters.
In the Korean drama "Squid Game," fictional characters receive a business card inviting them to a deadly competition for $38 million. They just have to call the phone number written on it.
Back in reality, that same phone number has been a steady source of woe for a few Koreans, who lament that their phones have been ringing and buzzing non-stop because their numbers resemble the one in the show.
Netflix told Reuters that it would working with South Korean production company Siren Pictures to "resolve this matter, including editing scenes with phone numbers where necessary." It asked fans of the show to stop making the prank calls and texts.
The eight-digit number in "Squid Game" exactly matches the mobile number of an unnamed Korean businessman in his 40s, who said he's been receiving a barrage of calls from people who "wanted to be in the game." He gets 4,000 calls a day, and now needs medication to sleep, he told local media.
The man said he's been using the same phone number for 10 years and can't change it because it's tied to his business. His wife, who has a phone number just one digit off from his, has also been spammed by "Squid Game" fans.
Hanna Kim, a 26-year-old office worker in Seoul, told The Wall Street Journal that she's also been receiving calls from strangers asking about "Squid Game," because her phone number is different from the show's by two digits.
She was told by Netflix and Siren Pictures that she wouldn't receive financial compensation for the nuisance, reported The Journal.
"Squid Game" has become an international success, topping Netflix streaming rankings in 83 countries. The hashtag #squidgame has amassed 11.1 billion views on TikTok and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said it could be the streaming company's biggest show ever.
Netflix did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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