A recent podcast series by a journalist and tech expert traces the scammer behind the Squid Game crypto token that lured over $3 million from investors in 2021.
At the climax of the popular Korean Netflix series Squid Game in 2021, cryptocurrency scammers launched a token named after the program to drive and maximize sales. The move was so successful that even well-known media outlets like the BBC, CNBC, and Yahoo took notice.
As a result, the SQUID token pumped to $2,860 and then dropped to zero, wiping out $3.3 million from ivestors’ accounts.
How podcasters traced the Squid Game scammer
A recent podcast series by journalist Janhoi MacGregor and tech expert Ciaran O’Connor sheds light on the scam. It has stoked evidence of the scammer’s location and the need to recover all the aggregated $16 million financial loss to its victims.
In the podcast, McGregor said that he spoke to the scam victims in Telegram and received from them a video showing the rug pull allegedly occurring in real-time on a computer monitor. It was captioned with what looks to be one of the suspects’ names and bore the following message:
“Thank you for making me wealthy.”
O’Connor confirmed the video’s authenticity by reviewing the metadata and confirming that it was captured when the rug pull happened. Later, McGregor and O’Connor discovered that the creators of the Squid Fraud had carried out a more minor, nearly identical scam just a few weeks before Squid as a pen test.
Moreover, the podcasters discovered that a random law firm was offering to sue the Squid scammers but then vanished with their cash. They suggested that those scammers may be the same as those who pull people’s legs. In addition, a Reddit profile was created several days before the scammers disappeared, promoting the website and urging the users about the possible scam.
While checking the provider and the domain name company, McGregor and O’Connor got closer to the clue. The podcasters obtained two email addresses, an IP address, two telephone numbers, an actual physical address, and even a name.
Investigators try to meet the scammer
McGregor and O’Connor pinged the emails they received, and one came with a real name. The person who opened it was, with 86% certainty, located in Hong Kong. The name of the suspect was reportedly tied to various scams since 2013. Moreover, they founded a tech company in Guangdong, China, in April 2021. Interestingly, it filed a request for dissolution just a few days after the podcasters attempted to contact the alleged scammer.
Later, McGregor traced a specific office building related to the person and decided to enlist the assistance of a local reporter. Together they attempted to meet face-to-face with the scammer but found no one, except a security guard who said the police had been there six months back following a tip-off.
MacGregor made further efforts to call the registered phone number in Guangdong, but the person who picked up the call denied everything.
Finally, the podcasters decided to reveal their discoveries to the police and hand over the rest of the inquiry because they worried about their safety.