The guy was a crook. Your guy was being scammed by the use of a cold reading. Telling a complete stranger he has $20k in cash is another give away. Any kind of fortune telling also raises the question: if the future can be foretold, doesn’t that abrogate free will?
In my experience, no fortune teller of any kind will be specific; The ‘medium’ will NOT say “I am in contact with Myrtle Bloggs, who died and X date, and wants to speak to her friend Ida Brown, about her missing pearl necklace”. They will often use initials, or something general enough to generate a ‘hit’ ;Eg "in her 80’s, born in the country, had a stroke’
The skeptic James Randi offered $1 million to anyone who could demonstrate any kind of paranormal or psychic powers. None claimed the prize the several years it was offered .
A bit more on astrology ; Nobody know exactly where Astrology was invented .Babylon seems popular, up to 3000 bce. It was based on the observation of the five planets visible by the naked eye ; Mercury, Venus, Saturn Mars and Jupiter. The Sun and Moon also counted as planets.
Until the enlightenment, the stars were studied for divination, especially on the life of a ruler. There was no discipline of ‘astronomy’.
Astrology has always been a pseudo science; it uses actual positions of the planets at the day and time of a person’s birth. Modern astrologers use ephemerides, small booklets published each year, which show the position of planets on a given day. The astrologer calculates adjustments for his country.
Astrology uses a GEO CENTRIC System
Oh, extremely accurate astrological computer programmes have been around for at least ten years of which I’m aware. They will cast a natal chart, and print out a nice picture, AND do a detailed interpretation.
When I was much younger, I spent 5 years learning and practising astrology. I could cast a chart and do a detailed interpretation. I had a teacher and read books going back to William Lilly (1602-1681). Astrologers like to claim Lilly predicted the Great Fire of London. He didn’t.
I truly wanted Astrology to be real. I always only did ‘blind readings’, not having met the subject. I kept records; a copy of every chart, and every interpretation. Then I followed them up in 12 months: “Hits” :ONE; I wrote that the person would make a good teacher. That was in fact her career. There were no other accurate interpretations. At the five year mark, I concluded that Astrology is woo. I have not changed my mind in the decades since.
COLD READINGS (the full article is worth reading)
Cold reading is a set of techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, mediums, illusionists (readers), and scam artists to imply that the reader knows much more about the person than the reader actually does. Without prior knowledge, a practiced cold-reader can quickly obtain a great deal of information by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readings commonly employ high-probability guesses, quickly picking up on signals as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, then emphasizing and reinforcing chance connections and quickly moving on from missed guesses. Psychologists believe that this appears to work because of the Forer effect and due to confirmation biases within people.