Dave the psychic is part of an Internet banking safety campaign. He knows all...through social media and online banking sties.

Ever wonder how all those mall psychics stay in business? I mean, who’s actually sitting down with them – crystal ball and all – and paying $20 for 15 minutes of “You will find love the Tuesday after Labor Day.” Well, if they’re anything like Dave, the psychic in the video below, my sarcasm is severely misplaced. He’s the real deal, pulling specific personal details about people he’s just met, right out of thin air.

“You spent 300 euros on clothes last month.”

“Your best friend’s name is Julie.”

“Interesting love life…I see three, four people?”

Well, “out of thin air” is a bit incorrect.

“Wirelessly” would be more accurate. Dave the mindreader is only as psychic as you allow him to be. Rather than tapping the mysterious workings of the universe to establish a link with your innermost thoughts, he taps the Internet to gain access to your social network pages and financial transactions. At the end of each session, when he’s mesmerized his unsuspecting guest, Dave the mindreader reveals the secret to his powers. The Ozian curtain comes down and the clockwork of computers, Facebook pages and banking websites are revealed.

The video was produced by Febelfin, the Belgian Financial Sector Federation, as part of a safe Internet banking campaign. The video is pretty compelling: if people are shocked at how much Dave can find out about them, the thought of some unscrupulous stranger doing the same is, well, downright creepy.

[image credit: DuvalGuillaume via YouTube]

image: DuvalGuillaume via YouTube
video: DuvalGuillaume via YouTube

Peter Murray was born in Boston in 1973. He earned a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore studying gene expression in the neocortex. Following his dissertation work he spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at the same university studying brain mechanisms of pain and motor control. He completed a collection of short stories in 2010 and has been writing for Singularity Hub since March 2011.