Beware of construction scams in Ottawa and Gatineau!

Beware of construction scams in Ottawa and Gatineau!
4 min read

A dishonest contractor named Eric Henrie operates under the false company name "Tropical Services". He uses a common fraudulent technique by demanding deposits before work, using pressure and malicious tactics. Once the money is sent, he continually changes the amount he demands and then cuts off communication and disappears with the money. It seems to have become his modus operandi and he has already scammed several clients in the Ottawa and Gatineau areas in Quebec. It is important to note that Mr. Henrie has no license or right to work in the construction and renovation industry. Before entrusting your project to a contractor, make sure to check their references and license to avoid becoming the next victim of this scammer. If you have been a victim of a similar construction scam or if you know Eric Henrie and his fraudulent activities, please inform the relevant authorities to pursue him in court and prevent him from harming any more innocent people.

In January 2023, Mr. Raymond was contacted by Mr. Eric Henrie through a reference for the installation of doors in a building in Thurso. Mr. Henrie demanded a deposit of $150 before he would move, despite a red flag. Since the work was urgent and another contractor had abandoned it due to transportation issues, Mr. Raymond agreed to pay the deposit. However, Mr. Henrie began sending pressing messages every 30 minutes, even at night and early in the morning, demanding payment. To end this, Mr. Raymond paid but realized he was being scammed by accepting constant price changes without even a visit from Mr. Henrie to the job site. He gave an ultimatum to Mr. Henrie to show up or make a refund, but he threatened to not show up or refund if Mr. Raymond did not pay a higher deposit. The latter agreed to the refund offer, but since then Mr. Henrie has never refunded the money or responded to any other messages. In February 2023, Mr. Raymond informed this fraudulent fake contractor that he would complain to the media and that his name would be tarnished if he did not receive the refund and additional fees. Mr. Henrie responded by threatening to sue Mr. Raymond. It was at this point that Mr. Raymond contacted us to explain this incredible story.

Unfortunately, construction scams are becoming more and more frequent, and scammers like Eric Henrie are becoming bolder in their tactics. Victims of these scams often lose significant amounts of money and may experience significant delays in their construction and renovation projects. It is important to take precautions to protect against these scams. It is advisable to conduct thorough research on the contractor and company before signing a contract or making a deposit. You can also consult organizations such as the Quebec Construction Council or local authorities to verify the contractor's license and background. Statistics show that approximately 10% of construction work is affected by scams each year, resulting in significant financial losses for victims. It is crucial to be vigilant and take protective measures to avoid becoming a victim of a construction scam. By working together, we can put an end to these malicious activities and protect consumers from scammers like Eric Henrie.

Mr. Isidore Nathan of Gestion Immobilière Pénates et Lares Inc. states that new homeowners should exercise caution and novice real estate investors can seek the services of a property management firm to utilize their expertise and avoid similar scenarios.

We contacted Mr. Eric Henrie on February 8th to request his version of the events and for a reaction to this information, but he has not responded to our request.

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