The prophet was a representative and a spokesperson of God.
Though the prophets were predominantly men, there were prophetesses as well. The prophetesses before Christ were five.
1. Miriam, the sister of Moses, was a first one (Ex 15:20) who led the women of Israel to praise God for drowning Pharaoh and his army.
2. Deborah (Judg 4:4) who was also a judge of Israel before the rule of kings.
3. Huldah (2 Kgs 22:14).
4. Noadiah (Nah 6:14)
5. Isaiah’s wife (Isa 8:3).
Then came Anna, who came at the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The prophetesses were very few and served only a short-term compared to the male prophets of the Old Testament.
Since prophet was a privileged position, there were people who pretended as prophets in the Old and New Testament times. Jesus warned his disciples to be cautious of false prophets who misguided people and led them to eternal destruction.
Jesus warned that “False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect” (Mt 24:24). Even when the Israelites were in the desert, God reminded them through Moses: “If there arises in your midst a prophet or a dreamer who promises you a sign or wonder, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’” whom you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ and the sign or wonder foretold to you comes to pass, do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer; for the LORD, your God, is testing you to know whether you really love the LORD, your God, with all your heart and soul” (Deut 13: 2-4). So, God allows false prophets to assess our fidelity to Him.
In the modern times also, there are people with no apostolic succession who start churches of their own and try to convert people to their sheep, promising eternal reward through the effortless way. Many of these evangelists do this for their own selfish motives and we have to be beware of not falling into their trap.