Matrix/Downline Programs

A matrix or downline program is any program where you have to recruit other
people to move up a list. Those people you recruited then become a part of
your 'downline' The more people you can get to join under your, the higher
you move up the list. Once you reach a certain threshold you get a reward
which is either a free laptop, a free IPod, or money depending on the
program. Common programs that involve downlines are Free (ipod, laptop,
etc) companies, paid email companies, and paid surfing companies.

Not are matrix or downline programs are scams. The programs that involve
chain letters or fail to disclose the odds are scams. However, I don't
recommend any of them since your odds of getting a free product are slim,
and the work involoved in recuiting other people in your 'downline' often
results in spam. On Ebay, for example it is uncommon to find hundreds of
auctions for free IPods or free laptops.

Matrix Scams

When a customer makes a purchase at a matrix site, that investment goes
into a "pool" for the matrix. Once the required number of purchases are
made for that specific item, the first person at the top of the line "cycles" and
receives the "free gift".

Matrix sites are popular because they offer the opportunity for a consumer to
receive expensive electronic products for a mere fraction of the price. The
catch is that the participant receives the prize only by paying a fee to enter a
“matrix” list, and then only if a certain number of consumers also join the
matrix afterwards.

The matrix, just as many other conventional pyramid schemes of the past,
becomes unable to fulfill its promise of continued new entrants and
eventually collapses under the weight of its own devise. There are only a
finite number of people the can join so the vast majority of people that join a
matrix program win no product.

At the time of collapse, many consumers whose names are still on the list
are left “holding the bag.” These “victims” try to recoup their losses by
starting their own matrix websites and advertising their sites through Ebay

The results of this process are catastrophic. Between November 2002 and
April 2003 over 250 new matrix sites had been launched, and the epidemic
continued to multiply exponentially as more new sites entered the market
and more fraudulent auctions flooded It is for these reasons that
MSNBC has deemed the matrix sites as “the fastest growing internet scam
of the 21st century.”  
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