I’ve taken down the “unusual fundraising request” post. It turns out my friend is fine, still in Japan, and ticked that someone hacked his email account. I started getting suspicious when continued exchanges with said account didn’t generate the normal volume of chit-chat or any references to family. Getting in touch with a mutual friend confirmed my growing suspicions.
Fortunately, my little hasty post didn’t generate any extra sales, so I haven’t accidentally defrauded anyone. My apologies anyway.