Squid Game’s runaway success has had an unfortunate consequence on one woman from South Korea.
The show, which is on track to be Netflix’s most watched in its history, contains a phone number for characters to call if they are interested in playing the titular challenge.
That number, however, is real – and fans of the gory drama have been calling it to say they would like to play the game.
“This is a number that I’ve been using for more than 10 years, so I’m quite taken aback,” the number’s owner told South Korea’s Money Today.
“There are more than 4,000 numbers that I’ve had to delete from my phone.
“At first I didn’t know why, but my friend told me that my number came out in Squid Game and that’s when I realised.”
The businesswoman from Seongju, southeast South Korea, added that the deluge of calls and messages got “to the point that it’s hard for me to go on with daily life”.
Local media has reported that the woman has rejected compensation claims of 5m won (about £3,000) from Netflix.
While Netflix have not yet commented on the compensation reports, the streamer has asked fans not to call the number and confirmed it will be editing out the digits from the show.
It said: “Together with the production company, we are working to resolve this matter, including editing scenes with phone numbers where necessary.”
Quietly appearing on Netflix with little fanfare last month, Squid Game is now on track to be the streamer’s most watched show ever – overtaking the likes of The Crown and Bridgerton.
It has taken the number one spot in 90 countries within 10 days of release.
The show, which is set in South Korea, sees people who are heavily in debt invited to play a series of challenges which could see them scoop 45.6bn won (around £28m).
Contestants have to beat 455 other people to win the money while playing children’s games such as Red Light, Green Light – but the catch is if you lose, you die.
Squid Game is streaming globally now on Netflix.