Indeed. It happens. It just really, really sucks to deal with when it does. As one of my other plussers commented, "The problem is people treat a SSN as a password." If somebody has your name and SSN, they have access to almost everything (in the US). Dealing with this is getting better, but it's still shit. He just bought a house, so he's just lucky this didn't happen a few months earlier, because right now his credit is in the shitter.