I met an online friend, who just happened to work for the company I want to buy something from...
Taking "online friend" literally, let's replace this by "a friendly stranger I haven't ever actually met, and don't actually know in real life, so I have no real way to tell if things they say are true or false."
How well do you know them? Apart from "they seem friendly" do you have any concrete way to determine what is genuine or not, or who they truly are? Suppose they were in a scammer call centre in another country and just aiming to sound convincing,would you know?
Scammers can make people fall in love, let alone be friends. How do you know for sure? Assume they may be, unless you have a really good reason.
Also while we think of it, let's have the name of this desktop computer company, so people here can see if they agree its legit.
Bonus points for sneaky scammers, If the company and site are genuine but they hacked the website or something, or poisoned some DNS, so it redirects anyway.
So this friendly person pretty much immediately gave me their employee computer login...
Well. Isn't that..... generous? And the sort of thing most people do for people they've only met online.
The corporate site shows other people use friendly persons login and have also bought desktop computers using his discount.
That one point, to me, is the smoking gun and huge red flag. Its a very high risk of being a scam.
Why the red flags at that?
Scammers are confidence tricksters. Some themes are totally pervasive - some kind of "too good to be true". Some kind of "convincer". A friendly helpful person who seems to like and trust you and says they are glad to cut a corner to help.
Now, the thing about a convincer is, most genuine situations people don't actually throw them in. The excessive step to show you it's safe, is WAYYYYY further than the steps needed to tingle my red scammer warning lights.
Think about it. If your friend offered to pay the £200 flight cost for a holiday this time round, and you pay back your share, that's fine. But if he opens his banking app and puts it in your hands, gives you the login, just to specifically prove others have gone that way on holiday costs with him, ..... Isn't that just a little bit weird?
That's what I mean by being an excessive step too far. A genuine person just wouldn't do that. They'd say, "I work there, I've checked my employee discount, its $X to me....
" and then discuss making a payment in some nice safe way that you get your cash back if the thing doesn't turn up.
What a genuine person doesn't do, is let an unknown-to-them "online friend" log into their own account, risking their job at best and a criminal prosecution at worst for fraud, from a completely different IP address than usual, with full access, to reassure that lots of people have done it. Like, this person has supposedly bought how many desktops recently, anyway?
And its pointless anyway, because none of that is proof.
Scammers are known to set up entire company websites for a scam. A web page that just happens to show lots of people doing it, is a good convincer but actually proves jack shit, because you have no way to know if even one of those is more than a fabrication.
And all the other elements too.
I don't buy that its safe.
Let us know the company concerned, and let's see if they are genuine or not too.