It happened again. I just had a potential book editor client propose getting her book edited for free. She said she wanted to give each person a different chapter to edit and then pick the best one. Yeah, right. There was no indication this would be a paid trial. Grrr!!! She hasn't got back to me yet but I'm not looking forward to the ensuing exchange.
Upwork has "valued clients" that literally send out thousands of invites for a ONE WEEK "non-paid" test that people actually take them up on.
Imagine taking a project, creating x tasks, "farming" it out to hundreds of "eager applicants", paying / hiring (maybe) one person.
You now have managed to get hundreds of man-hours of work for free.
Took months to finally block invites from these types.
Yes... it happened again...
As long as there are contractors here who are dumb enough to work for free for scammer "clients" clients like the original poster mentioned... then there will be "clients" who try to get their work done this way.
Requesting freelancers to work for free is against Upwork ToS. Please, flag the job as "Asking for free work" and the team will review and take appropriate actions.