More than fifty Delaware moms say they have become victims of an elaborate ruse by a woman who arranged up-front payment for house cleaning jobs that never happened.
Combined, the women say they have shelled over nearly $18,000 to a woman named Susan Losey, who allegedly pitched her services as an unlicensed house cleaner through a variety of social media sites starting in April.
Losey pitched her business on several Facebook pages, including the North Wilmington Mom’s group, a North Wilmington Business Owners group, and in various classified ads groups.
But the social media community page that Losey seems to have tapped into most effectively was the MOD Squad (Moms of Delaware), with nearly 8,000 members.
It was there that Losey, a mother herself, appealed to women in the group by saying she was down on her luck and struggling financially. She promoted deals on the site such as, “LAST CHANCE!!! 5 for $300 special.”
Losey found a welcoming audience for her business pitch to help a fellow mother in the MOD Squad and North Wilmington Moms groups, with multiple clients paying up front for her services. But once prepayments were made, things started to unravel.
Shortly after scheduling appointments with Losey’s Down & Dirty Cleaning Services business, most women say Losey would reach out to reschedule, offering a multitude or reasons why she wasn’t able to show up.
After months of Facebook posts, the women say they have connected the dots and are banding together. Some have registered complaints with the New Castle Country Police. Master Corporal Michel Eckerdsays a report was filed against Losey and that they are in the early stages of the investigation. He added, “Losey has not been charged yet.”
Some women, like Taya Dianna, did successfully arrange for Losey to clean their homes. But she says the service was nowhere near what Dianna would expect of a professional housekeeper. And almost as quickly as their relationship started, Dianna says Losey stopped communicating with her.
“We struggled to get the first appointment booked. But I’m busy, and she says she has kids. When she did finally make it here to clean, I was greatly disappointed in the service. She offered to come back and do a deep clean for free. When she came back the second time, the deep clean service was terrible. I said, “This is awful.’ This is when she turned table on me, and she stopped responding completely to me. I texted her to ask to schedule the 5 remaining cleanings and she never showed up,” said Dianna.
According to Dianna, these two texts were sent by Losey within minutes of each other on the same day – to Dianna and another woman who had purchased a cleaning package. Each has a different reason why Losey could not come clean that day.
Dianna said Losey’s personal appeal for business – a struggling mom with kids of her own – on the MOD Squad Facebook page connected with her. “It was a good deal. But I also wanted to help her out. I’ve been down in the dumps. I know how tough it can be for a single mom. It definitely tugged at my heartstrings,” said Dianna.
Her pitch also resonated with more than sixty women who parted with their money before services were rendered. Which leads to the first and most obvious question: how could one person actually commit to regularly clean fifty houses?
Dianna, who works for local government, is now the co-moderator of a new Facebook page for disgruntled clients and alleged victims of Losey. The page, called “Moms screwed over by S.L.” is a closed group.
Sixty-three women have joined the new group, and most have been willing to complete a Google form that tracks how many women have allegedly been bilked and for how much.
Spreadsheet manager Katie Oliver says 50 women have entered their information, and she adds, “I guarantee there are a lot more people” who will do so. (Not all women who have joined the Facebook group have submitted financial information. However, all had to provide proof that they were victims of the alleged scheme.)
She says individuals lost between $130 and $1,185. Some women contracted for as many as 24 house cleanings. Subtracting the value of services rendered and the few refunds Losey has issued, Oliver says Losey still owes $13,600 or 245 cleanings.
Oliver says she herself paid $300 for five cleanings and received only one, after many reschedules. She admits that Losey’s pitch to clean houses — from one mom to another — on the North Wilmington Moms (NWMs) Facebook page, another closed group, might have made her a bit more trusting up front.
“I did feel more comfortable with her being a mom and in the group,” said Oliver. “But that wasn’t the main reason. It mostly felt ‘safe’ because many individual moms on the NWMs were recommending her, and she had a business page (now deleted) with lots of 5 star reviews.”
The founder of the “Moms screwed over by S.L.” Facebook group, Kristin Bowen of New Castle, says Losey accepted just about every form of electronic payment, including Venmo, Circle, CashApp and PayPal, specifying “friends and family” to avoid the business transaction fee.
Bowen has never met Losey.
The busy restaurant owner says she shelled over $300 on April 8th because Losey’s offer sounded like a good deal. “I figured it could be good for her and good for me,” she said. But after two months of trying to schedule just one appointment with Losey, she finally gave up. She is one of 34 women who have reported that Losey either came once or never.
“She never cleaned my house – ever. She started blowing me off right away. And while she wasn’t coming to clean my house, she was continuing to post her cleaning special all over the place. I saw her posts in at least two other Facebook groups. It wasn’t just moms’ groups.”
Bowen says Losey offered a variety of excuses – from forgetting about spring break and not having babysitting coverage for her own children to her van breaking down, to her husband leaving her:
Four weeks after purchasing the cleanings, Bowen asked for a refund. “She promised me a partial refund. But when that didn’t come, I made a phone call to her through Facebook, and she never called me back,” said Bowen.
Bowen and Dianna both say they read ‘positive reviews’ of Losey – on Losey’s Down & Dirty Cleaning Services Facebook page, before arranging their prepayments.
Both Losey’s personal page and the business page have been deleted from Facebook. And her cell number no longer accepts incoming calls or text messages. (Women who had communicated with Losey provided her cell number to us so we could reach her for comment. The outgoing message says, “At the subscriber’s request, this phone does not accept incoming calls.”)
It was a post by Bowen on the MOD Squad Facebook page in May that first prompted other moms to chime in about their experiences – or lack thereof – with Losey. Without naming Losey, she posed a hypothetical question: “What would you do if a house cleaner was scheduled to come, didn’t show up and promised a refund?”
The responses started pouring in.
Women began sharing that they were owed cleanings, refunds, or both. And some of those who had arranged to work with Losey said the cleanings they received were poor. Some began reporting that they, too, were unable to connect with Losey after pre-paying for services.
The post also spurred Losey to offer Bowen a partial refund of $89. “Apparently, that’s all she could afford,” said Bowen. But like all potential clients, Bowen was told that she would eventually honor the house cleaning special offer because ‘the offer has no expiration date.’
Bowen and the other disgruntled women maintain that Losey’s special offer with ‘no expiration’ was just one more part of the ruse to fend off people who wanted her to make good on the scheduled cleanings.
Eventually, one member of the MOD Squad Facebook group mentioned Susan Losey by name in Bowen’s thread. Because negative comments by name are not allowed in the group, the women had to move their discussion away from MODs Facebook page.
So on June 13th Bowen started the separate closed Facebook page “Moms screwed over by S.L.,” where women provided more detail about their experiences.
Between April and July some women who purchased the package tried to resolve the situation as tensions mounted. Oliver, for one, sent Losey messages explaining frustrations of others, asking her to make good on her offers. But according to the women who have posted their comments on the Moms screwed by S.L. Facebook page, those concerns were not addressed.
On July 2nd Losey shared from her own personal Facebook page a post stating that over the past few weeks she had been reduced to tears as she was “ripped to shreds and so was the business I’ve worked very hard for.” She also referred to the women who demanded their refunds as a “gang of mean girls” and invited them to fight. “BRING IT, cause I’m not going anywhere. Not one of you is worth another moment of my emotions and you won’t get it either,” she wrote.
On August 6th, many of her clients received a message from Susan Losey’s phone or in Facebook Messenger that Losey had been hospitalized and was taking “about ‘8-10’ wks off, a medical leave of absence.” She added that “all cleanings have no expiration and they will be honored and no refunds will be provided.” But not all of her clients received that message.
She also stated she would no longer be available to be contacted – through Facebook, Messenger or by phone. Her business and personal pages have been deleted.
Since this post, none of the women affected has been able to reach Losey.
Dianna says she’s not giving up on her desire to help others, though she’s wiser for the experience. “I will still do what I can when someone needs help, if I can. It’s how I was raised and how mankind should be,” said Dianna. “However, I will certainly try to be more wary of deals that seem too good to be true. I don’t hold Susan any ill-harm, but I don’t think any of us believe we will be paid back. I just want her to be held accountable for the damage she did to so many families.”