Only one of the two times was address to me. In both cases, the people in question - one in a department store dealing with a return on someone else's behalf and one in a bank - were asking for a social security number. I've never heard it worded this way before. Have you? Is it a recent development? Are social security numbers asked for on a more regular basis these days in the U.S. than they used to be?*
* They shouldn't be. They're not meant to be used mundanely. I figured my bank already has mine so I was willing to say, but it was still an unexpected way for them to look up my account number when I didn't have it handy.