I have a social security number, though I am a British national and a Canadian citizen, and have no legal status in the U.S.

Years ago, I went to visit a friend in Philadelphia and decided I wanted to stay for a while.

So I needed a job.
So I needed a social security number.

I got an application form for a social security number, answered all of the questions on the form truthfully, and six weeks later received my very own social security card in the mail!

I was pleased.
Except that I was afraid to use it.

So, I went to see an immigration lawyer, told him my story and asked him what to do. He said “Well, you don’t have a funny accent, so just don’t tell anybody that you’re not American and make sure there are no errors on your income tax returns”. I took his advice and worked in the U.S. for the next ten years. I still have my card. I live in Canada now, but it’s great for scooting back and forth across the border. People just smile and wave me through.

And I'm not going to say what the number is because I could end up in a lot of trouble.