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I know I can flag one of the relevant posts as "Other" as explain to moderator but before doing this prefer to get some fresh sets of eyes look into it and prevent embarrassing flag if it's legit.

The two "suspects" are:

They joined in a day difference, which is fine so far.

What raised my suspicion was the bounty of this question - drooooooid started the bounty 2 days ago then suddenly today posted answer of his own. Nothing suspicious so far. However, 10 minutes later Mr. "vote-up-and-accept" posted another answer and after less than a minute the bounty was granted to him by drooooooid. Why didn't he wait for more answers?

Sniffing around some more, I quickly found this question as well - Mr. drooooooid started another bounty (+150 this time) and lo and behold! 2 minutes after the bounty started our famous "vote-up-and-accept" posted answer that was also upvoted instantly.

I guess this time he was waiting before granting the bounty to not raise too much suspicion, but unfortunately for him "vote-up-and-accept" answer got deleted by now by a moderator, guess it's just because it's poor not related to sockpuppeting.

What do you think?

This:

legit

Or this?

Trogdor come and help

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4  
I concur. Smells like a sock. Bleh... –  Shawn Chin Feb 15 '12 at 14:55
    
Oh boy, Trogdor is going to be one busy dragon today! –  Pëkka Feb 15 '12 at 15:09
    
    
@Shawn smells like fish, but might be just someone who forgot to take shower. :) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 15 '12 at 15:30
7  
Because a denied flag is so much more embarrassing than having people tell you that you're wrong on meta? Your perspective on what is embarrassing is... Interesting. –  casperOne Feb 15 '12 at 15:48
4  
@ShaDowWizArd re: "Shawn smells like fish,....". You have offended me, sir. –  Shawn Chin Feb 15 '12 at 16:01
    
Crescent fresh. –  Won't Feb 15 '12 at 16:09
    
@casper - agreed, maybe I misused the word "embarrassing" here.. what about if I'd say "I don't want to make the moderator think too hard and would like our dear community to help in the decision"? :) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 15 '12 at 20:59
    
@Shawn lol didn't look at it this way but now.. ;) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 15 '12 at 20:59
    
@ShaDowWizArd A kind sentiment. I have no objections really, it's more like a learning exercise for all. I was going to respond early in the morning along the lines of what Bill did (it looks more like a vote ring, intentional or not, than anything) but I never hit the "post" button. –  casperOne Feb 15 '12 at 21:03
    
Cheers @casper hope this can be used in the future as reference in similar cases - with or without socks. :) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 15 '12 at 21:08
2  
A new "answer" has appeared, which is almost entirely cut and paste - stackoverflow.com/a/9306578/168175 –  Flexo Feb 16 '12 at 9:32
    
@awoodland good catch! It was exact cut and paste, but the same moderator who deleted that post yesterday edited and made it look more proper - maybe after second thought he decided it's fit. Anyway, now we have to wait and see what Mr. drooooooid will do. :) –  Shadow Wizard Feb 16 '12 at 12:49
    
Would you beloved it, that answer got the bounty awarded pretty quickly after it became possible! –  Flexo Feb 16 '12 at 16:44
    
Damn you autocomplete. I meant believe of course. –  Flexo Feb 16 '12 at 16:58

2 Answers 2

I'm definitely catching a whiff of wool here, but I'm not sure what the offense is. There hasn't been any cross-voting between those accounts yet. So far the only thing that's gone on is a transfer of reputation from one account to another. No new reputation (through voting/accepting) has been artificially created. This might call for a warning, but I'm not sure what other action to take here. Is there a precedent for this type of behavior?

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5  
But aren't BS bounty transfers almost a sure-fire sign of something fishy going on? –  Pëkka Feb 15 '12 at 16:15
3  
I wonder if these two accounts are different people, but friends? One friend trying to give rep to another? –  Adam Rackis Feb 15 '12 at 16:19
    
I assumed the apparently bogus rep-transfer was designed to gain privileges as a precursor to doing something evil –  Flexo Feb 15 '12 at 17:38
1  
@Pekka'sReputationBordello - I've seen this in the past between coworkers in a voting ring and other sock-puppet-like behavior. They'll grant 50-point bounties to their friends for some reason. The upvoting threshold is 15 reputation, so maybe they do it to get them to the point where they can vote for the bounty-giver's questions and answers. In any case, following 50-point bounties has proven to be an effective means of tracking down associated accounts. –  Brad Larson Feb 15 '12 at 17:54
    
@Pekka'sReputationBordello Yes, it's definitely a smell of some kind. I'll be checking back to see if it really starts to stink. –  Bill the Lizard Feb 15 '12 at 18:31
    
Bear in mind that the total rep from both accounts is 188, so there wouldn't be many privileges at stake. –  Daniel Feb 15 '12 at 20:20
    
Good chance they're friend or co-workers (or both) indeed.. can you see if their share IP address? –  Shadow Wizard Feb 15 '12 at 21:05
1  
As I expected, same person granted bounty to same other person so no way it's pure chance - definitely intentional reputation transfer between accounts. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 16 '12 at 22:13

Calling Trogdor! Trogdor, do you copy? We need aerial support.

enter image description here

Image courtesy of iglvzx

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Yeah, bring it on! :-D –  Shadow Wizard Feb 15 '12 at 15:25
4  
Airstrike in aisle 9! –  Pëkka Feb 15 '12 at 15:32

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