40,000 people have claimed this social security
number (SSN: 078-05-1120) as their own.
The U. S. government’s Social Security Administration explains how, to many people, a fake social security card was real:
The most misused SSN of all time was (078-05-1120). In 1938, wallet manufacturer the E. H. Ferree company in Lockport, New York decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets. A sample card, used for display purposes, was inserted in each wallet. Company Vice President and Treasurer Douglas Patterson thought it would be a clever idea to use the actual SSN of his secretary, Mrs. Hilda Schrader Whitcher.
The wallet was sold by Woolworth stores and other department stores all over the country. Even though the card was only half the size of a real card, was printed all in red, and had the word "specimen" written across the face, many purchasers of the wallet adopted the SSN as their own. In the peak year of 1943, 5,755 people were using Hilda’s number…
Read a little bit more: The story of the most misused number of all time… – U.S. Social Security Administration>>
– The Woolworth Card, Snopes>>