Netflix edits Squid Game’s phone number after woman was inundated with calls

Using a real number from South Korea in popular dramas generates thousands of calls and texts with jokes.

Netflix has edited a phone number that appears in its hit series “Squid Game” or “The Squid Game” after a South Korean woman and others using similar combinations were inundated with calls, and some people even asked to join the games of life and death that appear in the famous program.

The South Korean production has topped Netflix’s charts in 90 countries since its launch last month and is on track to become its most-watched series.

The nine-episode drama, which addresses growing economic inequality, involves hundreds of financially distressed people competing in children’s games to win a millionaire sum of money, and the losers are violently murdered.

To enter, contestants must call a number on a business card printed with symbols. But while film and television producers often use fake numbers in such circumstances, adding 010, the standard prefix for South Korean mobile phones, to the eight digits on the card generated a real phone number.

The number belongs to a South Korean woman named Kim who said she received thousands of calls and text messages on her phone to the point that it is difficult for her to go about her daily life.

“This is a number that I have been using for over 10 years, so I am quite puzzled. There are more than 4,000 numbers that I had to erase from my phone, ”the businesswoman told the South Korean newspaper Money Today. “At first I didn’t know why, but my friend told me my number came out on Squid Game and that’s when I realized it,” Kim said, adding that some pranksters asked in the dead of night to “join Squid Game” before hanging up.

 In a statement, Netflix asked fans to refrain from making jokes and messages.  

“Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this issue, including editing scenes with phone numbers when necessary,” the company said.

The woman said it was impossible for her to change her number due to customer contacts. It is reported to have rejected offers of compensation of up to 5 million won (more than approximately 86,000 Mexican pesos), although Netflix has not commented on the compensation claims.

South Korean presidential candidate Huh Kyung-young made headlines last week when he offered 100 million won (about 2 million Mexican pesos) on Facebook to buy the phone number.