Did anyone address the issue of fraud? Out of curiosity, what fraud are you refering to?
If you want to avoid fraud, use a competent Realtor. Period.
In this country we have what's called "Buyer Beware" that means you are to do "DUE DILLIGENCE" prior to making a purchase. A lot of people get caught in scams due to being greedy, and others are just naive.
If you are unsure of what you're doing, then hire a proffesional, just like you hire a lawyer or a doctor or a home builder. Realtors are proffesionals that will help eliminate the guesswork.
Some people don't believe in Realtors--their perogative, it's a free country.
I believe you got plenty of good answers on the steps to take to buy a home. Now, take the next step and do it.