A price comparison website, www.moneysupermarket.com ran a experiment on the streets of London and Manchester:
[Representatives] wandered the streets this morning wearing sandwich boards offering a free £5 note to anyone who asked. Despite encountering over 1800 people, only 28 passers by bothered to take advantage of the offer.
The experiment also found a stark difference in the attitudes of men and women. On the streets of London and Manchester, all but 7 of the people who claimed the free cash were men and the research backed this up further. In a poll of 2000 people almost two thirds of women (64 per cent) said they would not claim the free fiver, compared to 41 per cent of money-shy men.