WORCESTERSHIRE residents are being reminded the NHS would never ask for payment or bank details after concerns were raised over a new vaccine text scam.

The scam has been highlighted and shared by county residents on social media in recent days.

The text is made to look believable and seemingly from the NHS, telling the receiver they are eligible to apply for the vaccine.

Police have said it starts: "We have identified that your are eligible to apply for your vaccine'" before people are prompted to click on the link.

If the link is clicked on it then takes them to what is made to look a genuine NHS website, asking for the patient to fill out a form providing details of their name, date of birth, address, proof of address and to provide payment card details.

The Neighbourhood Watch group, which has also been raising awareness of the scam, said: "It (the text and website) should automatically ring alarm bells - as we all know, the vaccine is free."

Meanwhile, nationally, there have also been reports cold callers are asking people to pay for the vaccine over the phone.

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG, which is administering the roll out of the vaccine in the county, has stressed no one would ever be asked for payment or the details for a payment card by the NHS.

A CCG spokesperson said: “The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn.

"We will never ask you to press a button on your keypad to confirm you want the vaccine, and never ask for payment or for your bank details.”

According to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, scammers have stole millions of pounds from people during the pandemic.

Last May the public were warned of another scam related to coronavirus doing the rounds, that attempted to fool people into believing they had been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

Bogus text messages, made to appear as though they were sent by an official source associated with the app, were sent out with links that recipients clicked on, taking them to a website that turned out to be asking for bank details.

Scams can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or through its website actionfraud.police.uk.