Good Advice from CMHC:
Never accept money, guarantee a loan or add your name to a mortgage unless you fully intend to purchase the property;
Always know who you are doing business with. If you are buying or selling a home, use only licensed Real Estate Agnets and other industry professionals and never sign anything until you know exactly what you are signing;
Determine the sales history of any property you are thinking about buying and consider having it inspected and appraised. Ask for a copy of the land title search;
Find out if anyone other than the seller has a financial interest in the home. If a deposit is reqd, make sure the funds are held "in trust" by the vendor's realty company or lawyer/notary;
Get independent legal advice from your own lawyer/notary. Talk to your lawyer/notary about title insurance and other alternative methods of protection;
Be wary of anyone who approaches you with an offer to make "easy money" in real estate. Remember: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.