By Frank Nelson, Santa Barbara News-Press, Calif. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 16--With people generally living longer and sky-high property prices making many Santa Barbara County residents asset-wealthy, this area is ripe for financial abuse of the elderly.
Sure enough, the number of such cases being reported, investigated and confirmed has risen steadily over the past three years -- and those involved in elderly welfare think they're seeing only the tip of the iceberg.
A few months ago, those people primed another weapon in the battle against elder financial abuse when they joined forces with key professionals in the community to form FAST, the Financial Abuse Specialist Team.
FAST brings together experts in medical and mental health, banking, accounting, financial services, real estate, public and private legal services, the FBI, insurance industry, nonprofits, counseling and social services, and many …