I have recently encountered a very clear case of group bounty gaming.

SO post in question: Triggering event manually in JS Helper CakePHP

The original posted of the post started the question, did not get a single response for more than 2 weeks, hence offered a +50 bounty, which I believe is legitimate up till this point.

I saw the bounty, answered it on the same day of the bounty. No response from the original poster for 5 days since the answer. I posted a comment 2 days before the bounty ends just to see if he got what he asked answered. No reply from him.

Today the bounty ended. Just mere hours before the bounty ended, a new user popped up with an answer that is too similar to mine, with mere changes in Class and some variable names. Within minutes, his answer got accepted.

Did some investigation myself and found out that they were friends on Facebook.

I believe it wasn't intended to be a foul play at the start, but once the original poster got his answer, he felt reluctant to give away his +50 reps to someone (in this case, me) who has actually answered his question and got his friend to quickly post a plagiarized answer and immediately marked as resolved.

I flagged it, but I wonder are there anything moderators can do about it besides simply acknowledging it?

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    If you've flagged it, there's really no need to call them out here. Handling these cases takes some time because it needs some investigation to see if there really is a problem. And I would personally refrain from leaving comments like this but that's perhaps just me. – Bart Jul 27 '12 at 15:07
  • @Bart I hesitated leaving that comment actually. It was my bad. – uzyn Jul 27 '12 at 15:09
  • @Bart: Nah, I'll revert it. It's prolly too big and should have been posted with the moderator attention flag. – Martijn Pieters Jul 27 '12 at 15:09
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    I am very much impressed with your investigation, +1 for it :) – Lucifer Jul 27 '12 at 15:18
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    Looks like the bounty you didn't win just got made up for with upvotes. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 27 '12 at 15:24
  • Hi @BoltClock'saUnicorn! Indeed, thanks for the upvotes. – uzyn Jul 27 '12 at 15:26
  • @uzyn: in their defense, the voting fraud ring wanted classes with real names, not just some controller ;) – user7116 Jul 27 '12 at 16:00

I have passed the issue to Stack Exchange staff who will invalidate the votes. Further action against the involved users might be taken after that happened. Your flag exposed a nice voting ring which will now be blown to pieces.

This can take some time, so i marked your flags as helpful so other mods don't deal with the same case just to notice it's already being handled.

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  • I have also seen this kind of thing, where a single account getting false voting . that account put bounties very frequently. bounty of 500 many times. – Lucifer Jul 27 '12 at 15:15
  • @ThiefMaster, check both of their profiles, so many serial votes in reputation history – Lucifer Jul 27 '12 at 15:21
  • We already know that. That's why he said "Your flag exposed a nice voting ring" – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 27 '12 at 15:26

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