Authorities in South London are warning residents over a fake text and phone call scam that attempts to extract personal information and money by posing as providing of the Covid-19 vaccine.

In recent days, Croydon Council and borough police forces in London have urged phone users not to be taken in by the scam, which aims to secure vital information including bank details by posing as the government and NHS vaccine providers.

A statement on the council's website described the key details in the scam.

The council's trading standards team hope to prevent anyone else from falling for the scam:

"The text message claims to be from the NHS and tells recipients that they are eligible to apply for the new coronavirus vaccine and to click on a weblink to apply.

"The link then takes visitors to a fake website which looks genuine and asks the user to complete a form with their name, date of birth, address, proof of address, as well as their payment card details," a spokesperson said.

"This fake text message and website is a scam because the Covid vaccine is free of charge. The NHS will never send a text asking you to confirm whether you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details," they added.

The Trading Standards team at Croydon Council reportedly sent out a bulletin to "hundreds" of individuals and groups in the borough warning them of the fake Covid vaccination ruse.

A leaflet warning of its dangers and how to spot them, available here, has also been produced.

"The Covid vaccine is free of charge to members of the public, and a genuine NHS representative would never ask for money or your bank details," Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for communities, safety and resilience, said.

"If you receive a text message or a phone call like this about a Covid vaccine and you are asked for your financial details, it is a scam.

"You should report it as soon as possible so the authorities can take action," he added.