Netflix's 'Squid Game' Allegedly Used a Real Phone Number, Leading to Man Being Flooded With Calls

A South Korean politician is trying to buy a phone number seen in the hit Netflix series Squid Game because it is an actual phone number. Now the person who owns it is allegedly being swamped with phone calls. Huh Kyong-young, a member of the National Revolutionary Party who announced plans to run for the presidency in South Korea, is offering 100 million won, or about $85,000, to the person who has the phone number. Squid Game was released worldwide on Netflix on Sept. 17 and has become the most-watched show on the platform worldwide.

"I heard that the owner of the phone number showed on a business card in Squid Game is suffering serious damage from prank calls. I would like to buy the number for 100 million won," Huh reportedly wrote on Facebook, according to the Korea Times. Huh has run for several offices since 1997 with little success. He is known for making bizarre campaign pledges, like sending 100 million won in relief funds to adults.

In Squid Game, a salesman (Gong Yoo) who recruits people for a challenging game gives contestants an eight-digit phone number to call to join the game. It turned out that the number is real, and people have been texting messages or calling the number to see if someone would answer.

The person who owns the number in real life is a man in his 40s who told Korean media he has received about 4,000 calls a day since the series was released. He thought they were spam calls since he didn't figure out his number was being seen by Netflix subscribers around the world until he finally watched the show himself. The man said he can't change the number now because he uses it for his business. He has received calls at all times of the day, so he started taking sleeping pills. The Hankook Ilbo reported that Netflix and Squid Game's production company were in talks with the phone number owner to resolve the problem.

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Since Squid Game was released last month, the show has been a surprise international hit for Netflix. The show tells the story of a group of people invited to play children's games for a chance to win a life-changing prize, but the players also have to put their lives on the line. The show was written, created, and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk and runs nine episodes. It was produced by Siren Pictures, Inc.