Come on people, if you are going to join a game in process, please, PLEASE take a good look at the game map. Do NOT join a big AI nation next to a player. It is very unfair, as you can use your AI inflated armies to destroy the player, who spent the past half hour building up his country.
It happened in about 90% of the open games I've played in and it is highly frustrating. Am I the only one who finds it annoying?
I've thought of another comment for you: get to know other players. Talk with them, get a feel for their integrity and dignity.....get to know enough players and you can play password protected games and invite your friends to them. This will keep the saboteur out.