The NHS in south west London has issued a warning in a bid to stop scammers obtaining money through fake vaccine messages. 

It follows reports that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the Covid-19 vaccination.

As of January 7 this year, Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, had received 57 reports in relation to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Nicola Jones, local GP and GP lead for the roll-out of the vaccine in south west London, said: “The vaccine is a vital part in our defence against Covid-19 and we know people are excited about getting their jab, but sadly it also means being aware that opportunistic scammers and fraudsters will be looking to take advantage of the roll-out.

“Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS.

"Remember, the vaccine is free of charge – at no point will you be asked to pay.

"When it is the right time, you will be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you to receive your vaccine.”

No entry will be granted to any vaccination site without an appointment. Anyone who has concerns about whether an approach is genuine should speak to their local GP surgery.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.