Over the weekend I noticed a substantial decrease in my finance balance. Then yesterday, in the messaging platform, I noticed some of my current participants have been “approved” by me for studies I am not running. Today, I again noticed a substantial drop in my finances. I took a screen shot in the morning. My balance was 1314.81 GBP. 12 hours later it was 847.12 GBP. The total amount I paid participants today, including the 33% fee to Prolific, was 290 GBP. So someone appears to have made off with 177 GBP from my account today alone (I am certain I lost more than this over the past week). I messaged Prolific for help yesterday when I noticed the funny approvals but have not had a reply. I am very anxious about this because I am in the middle of a daily diary study. I presently have 35 couples completing daily diaries. I can’t just stop this. In fact, I need to top up my account because I am running out of money for legitimate participants. But if I top it up, I am afraid I am just handing money to thieves. Is there a phone number for Prolific I can call to get immediate help?
Oh no! That’s not great discovery to have made. I’ve given our support team a heavy nudge on this one, they should be in touch with you very shortly (if not already).
If you’ve not already done so, it’d be worth changing the password on your researcher account as well.
I have heard back from Prolific now. They think it was a combination of some sort of bug in the system resulting in studies being listed in my account that were not mine and a misunderstanding on my part about the distinction between total and available funds. I have not yet had a chance to properly comb through everything yet but will do so later today. They told me they fixed the bug this morning. It appears I have nothing to worry about. And I appreciate how quickly their engineers responded.