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When the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help, right? Well if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you know emails from a far away member of any royal family will obviously lead to some kind of scam. Unfortunately, those types of emails seem to pop up in our inboxes every other month. Don’t you just wish there was a way to get back at these people for trying to leech off of us honest, hard working folks?

Well, we’re happy to report that our Japanese reporter, GO, found a way to get sweet, sweet revenge on one scammer he encountered online, trolling so hard that the scammer gave up in a fit of rage. This is his story.

  • A message from manga artist, Horyusuke

On the evening of September 15, I noticed that I had one unread message on LINE (a popular messaging app in Japan). I wondered if it was an SOS from Mr. Sato, who’d been standing in line waiting to buy an iPhone 6. If so, I was just going to ignore it, but it turns out the message was from my manga artist friend, Horyusuke.

Hmmm, I wondered what he wanted. Horyusuke’s had a string of success recently, getting his manga Shuffle Gakuen published in the monthly Shonen Champion manga magazine. “Ooooh, you’re so popular now, aren’t you, Hori-san?” I thought with a slight pang of jealousy as I opened his message. I was surprised to read what he wrote:

“Do you mind running out to the nearest convenience store and getting me an itunes card?”

What the heck? Is his head that inflated now? I didn’t realize he thought so highly of himself to ask me for such a favor like I was his assistant or something. Either way, I replied with a simple, “Sure.”

  • Is that really you?

At this point, I wasn’t sure if his LINE account had gotten hacked or not. Afterall, he’s a professional manga artist who creates serious and humorous works; I thought maybe he was doing this as inspiration for one of his new manga. However, two minutes later Horyusuke followed up with his request in a strangely polite manner, asking, “Would you mind buying it for me?” I hopped over to Horyusuke’s Twitter account and found this tweet:

“My LINE account was hijacked. Sorry.”

Looking at his timeline, I realized that the real Horyusuke still hadn’t resolved the matter and the hijacker was still in control of his accounts. OOOOH YEAAAH! It’s on! I was going to ride this wave and see where it took me. I excitedly followed up with the following messages:

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Three 1,000 point cards? Alriiight! I hear you loud and clear! As it turns out, I already had a 10,000 yen iTunes card at home. Here it is:


However, I wanted to make it seem like I went out to buy one just for Fake Horyusuke, so I told him I’d be right back:

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Dang, who does this guy think he is? It took all I could to not get mad. When you’re asking someone to do you a favor, don’t reply with “hai yo” (the English equivalent of “yup”). That’s not polite! Who taught you Japanese?!

  • Round One: Fight!

Well, I guess there was nothing else to do but follow his request….but that didn’t mean I had to do exactly what he wanted. It was time to start throwing punches and making this guy pay. I threw out some light jabs in the form of the following string of photos:


As I sent the photos, each one had a little “read” mark next to them telling me they’d been checked. Alright alright! Fake Horyusuke was looking at all my photos! I was landing every little jab I threw at him. I ended my string of 10 photos with “I have a few more, so hold on a sec.” Here’s the next wave:


I decided to play this round as an utter simpleton, making sure to show off a nice big smile that seemed to say, “Hey buddy! Look! I got the card, just like you asked!” I continued my photo dump:


  • Round Two: “I’m just trying to help you out, friend!”

It seems Fake Horyusuke isn’t very good at Japanese. He finally messaged, “Open it please,” continuing his barrage of strangely worded requests. This made me think that he wouldn’t understand if I replied with any kind of complex Japanese sentence, so I decided to use “body language” and continued to send more pictures.


I continued using body language after Fake Horyusuke’s request of “Open it please”:


I figured by now Fake Horyusuke was getting a little peeved, but I was just confused! He asked for photos, so I sent him photos and it seemed his Japanese skills weren’t up to par, so I was helping him out by using body language instead of Japanese. Since I was still a little confused as to what he wanted me to do I asked, “What should I open?”:

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Gotcha, the card number, okay. I knew exactly what to do!:

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Why the heck did FH send me a picture of myself? He seemed like he was getting irritated; Round Two was going in my favor. He next messaged me repeating, “Please open it,” followed by a picture of a different iTunes card, and again said, “Please open it.” I could just picture FH stewing behind his computer screen! I replied, “Hold on, hold on,” and sent him some more photos:

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  • Round Three: Our scammer starts to crack

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Fake Horyusuke was getting really, really mad now! This was the third time he’d asked me to open the card and his short, demanding messages seemed tinged with frustration, but I wasn’t going to let him off easily:


After my latest barrage of photos, I just wanted to confirm that this was what FH was asking, so I wrote, “Right here, is that correct? Is this the place you are talking about?” You know, just to make sure I was understanding him ;) FH replied rather shortly and in a demanding tone, “Take a photo of the entire card,” followed by “Send over the text part.”

Sure thing! I guess it was time to unveil the iTunes card number he so desperately wanted:


Slowly, ever so slowly, I peeled back the silver sticker covering up the iTunes card number and sent him photos of the unveiling. I could just imagine Fake Horyusuke’s anticipation as the numbers slowly came into focus. Half way through! Only a few more numbers to go…and then…

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Three photos of my face!! By this point FH was seething mad and fired back with a random slew of Japanese words. Wow, I really got to him this time. Well, I might as well take the silver sticker all the way off and uncover those numbers he’s after:


I peeled off the sticker almost all the way and even took a close-up photo of the card, just like FH wanted! Of course, a close-up of the unpeeled numbers with the sticker blocking his view wasn’t what FH was after. I followed up my photos with a cheerful, “Hey! I peeled it off!”

  • Final Round: “I just gotta get the right angle”

I decided to follow up with a tactic I like to call “I’m trying so hard to take a good picture, but the angle is so difficult to get right.” Unfortunately, Fake Horyusuke wasn’t having any of it, formally declaring that he was not amused. FINAL ROUND! We’re at all out blows now! Let’s go!:

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I was coming at him hard, not letting up at all. I was fighting will all my strength using the “Gee, I really want to give you the card number, but I just can’t quite figure it out” tactic:

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Fake Horyusuke was livid! He couldn’t handle my fighting style anymore and sent flaming bears my way as a last ditch effort to salvage the battle.

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Yes! This is an awesome battle! Bring it on, FH!!!

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But then, Fake Horyusuke didn’t respond for a good five minutes. My fighting style must have been too much for him. I decided to deliver my last special move, kept tucked away in my arsenal for such an occasion. A little something I like to call “Bed In.” Sweet dreams, FH!


Taking a photo of myself in bed, I hoped to send the unwritten message, “If you want to get at my iTunes card number, you gotta creep to my pillow!” Fake Horyusuke was so mad, he could only bring himself to respond with yet another flaming bear. I decided to deliver one final “Bed In” move to seal his fate. FH’s response was, in a word, EPIC:


That’s nine flaming bears in a row! FH was so mad! I dug deep and pulled out a few more moves. Here’s “putting the card so close to the light that everything looks white” and “Standing shot”:


I threw in some “standing shots” for good measure:


That was at 6:25pm. I called out to Fake Horyusuke, typing, “Hey! I took a photo of the number! Heeeey! Heeeey, I took the pic! HEY!!!” After three more minutes of silence, Fake Horyusuke signed off at 6:36pm. It took 74 minutes, but I had finally defeated the scammer!

The winner, by technical knockout, and still undefeated!!!!! AND THE CROWD GOES WIIIIIILLLLLD! It’s been a pleasure, Fake Horyusuke. Come back and face me again anytime. I’ll be waiting for you.

Photos: RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]