In recent years, Togo has seen high levels of violent crime throughout the country. Incidents have included machete attacks as well as firearms-related crimes. You should avoid certain areas within Lomé during the hours of darkness, including public beaches, the beach road, and the Ghana-Togo border areas. You should avoid beaches where no security is provided, even during daylight hours, as purse-snatchings and muggings occur regularly. We recommend that you not visit the Grand Marché area alone during the day and avoid the area altogether in the evenings.
Pick-pocketing incidents and theft are common in Togo, especially along the beach and in the market areas of Lomé. Residential and business burglaries are becoming frequent in Lomé. Foreigners are less commonly targeted in incidents of carjacking, but have been the victims of violent crime in the past. Theft while riding in taxis is common, as thieves steal bags, wallets, and passports. Don’t share taxicabs with strangers.
You should closely monitor their surroundings when using ATMs because of petty theft during and after ATM usage. You should only use ATMs during the day and choose ATMs with lots of people and guards around if possible.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you may also be breaking local law.
Buying or using drugs may result in an indefinite period of detention. Illicit drugs, particularly marijuana, cocaine, and some pharmaceuticals, are regularly seized by drug enforcement entities.
Internet Financial Scams: Perpetrators of business fraud often target foreigners, including U.S. citizens. Formerly associated with Nigeria, these fraud schemes are now prevalent throughout western Africa, including Togo, and pose dangers of both financial loss and physical harm. An increasing number of U.S. citizens have been targets of such scams, resulting in the loss of considerable money on these scams, ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Typically, these scam operations begin with an unsolicited communication, usually by e-mail, from an unknown individual who describes a situation that promises quick financial gain, often by assisting in the transfer of a large sum of money or valuables out of the country. As a general rule, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Common e-mail scams have been sent by individuals claiming to be a U.S. citizen who is “trapped” in Togo and needs financial assistance to return to the United States or receive urgent medical care. More sophisticated scams include targeting U.S. businesses and ordering a large amount of their product, if the U.S. business will provide banking information or pay legal fees. The best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud is to use common sense. Do not wire or transfer money to anyone you’ve never met in person. You should carefully check out any unsolicited business proposals originating in Togo before you commit any funds, provide any goods or services, or undertake any travel. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a U.S. citizen in trouble, ask him/her to call the Embassy directly at (228) 22 61 54 70.
Please check the Embassy website for the most current information on fraud in Togo.
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